Wednesday, August 21, 2013


We have days in our life we remember, some with events over the years which just seem to happen on one day during the year. The events aren't usually birthdays or other days you normally remember and celebrate, but have other significance for you and your life.

Today, August 21st, is one of those days, for two reasons. The first is that on August 21, 1978 I officially joined the US Geological Survey where I spent the next 27 years and 4-plus months retiring with my military service and other additions with 32 years of government service.

The second is that of August 21, 1991. I went to work that day the normal time but took the afternoon off to trade in my 1985 VW GTI for the car I had planned to buy for several years, had read 1991 was the last year of production for the US market and the dealer found one of the last two in the Puget Sound area.

That afternoon after going through the paperwork I drove home in a 1991 VW Vanagon Syncro I still have today and plan to keep as long as I can find parts and afford the work to maintain it. It's a reliable and durable all-weather, all-season, all-road van which carries near 1 ton.

I drove it home that day only to hear a message on the telephone answering machine my (older) brother had died early that afternoon of a massive heart attack, his second, in their home in Olathe, Kansas. The first trip in the van was to the airport the next day to fly to Denver and then Kansas City.

The second trip after driving home from the airport returning from the funeral was to Westport on the Washington coast on the south side of Grays Harbor. My brother always wanted to see and stand on the beach of the Pacific Ocean.

I put a flower from the wreath from the service into the ocean for him. I celebrate this day for his spirit, a person who was deeply flawed by the pressure of the family but a great person beneath all the flaws. He was the only member who understood the family, he stayed close to our parents as I was told to leave when I was 19.

We were polar opposite as individuals and with six years difference in our age and didn't realize until our 30's that we were closer than we thought and even though we rarely spoke, we knew how much we had in common due to our parents.

Neither of us reconciled our feelings with them, his life and demise to the pressures of being the oldest son and child, and my life to the pressures of being first rejected as a child and ostracized by them later to leave and rarely see them.

That to me is today.

No comments:

Post a Comment