blog post #504
Photo of Cerro Little La Jara, Valles Caldera National Preserve
my son Grant and I took the ashes of his older brother to one of the most
beautiful spots on earth… at least to me. As regular readers know, my older son
Clai died on January 22 of this year. It was totally unexpected… again, at
least for me. I spoke to him one day, didn’t hear from him for three days, and
then got a call from my sister in Texarkana, Texas saying he had been in the
hospital for three days. Clai suffered from a host of ailments, but appeared to
be handling them okay. A thousand miles removed from my older son, I believed
he was seeing his doctors regularly and was handling things well. He had
complained of “leaking from the legs,” a form of weeping sepsis but assured me he
was seeing his doctor regarding the problem. Apparently, he was only talking to
the doctor on the telephone… and it killed him.
this post is not about that. This is about the beautiful spot his brother and I
settled on as his final resting place, the Valles Caldera National Preserve,
some 100,000 acres encompassing a huge volcanic caldera. A place of vast
grasslands, towering mountains, fishing streams, and a strange hillock peopled
by evergreens that walk across the top of the mound and abruptly halt at the
bottom— as though afraid to dip toes into the sea of grass surrounding them.
The photo at the top is of one such mound called Little La Jara.
several years, we owned a cabin on the back side of the “Baca,” so called
because for a hundred years or so the caldera was privately owned and known as
the Baca Ranch. As we returned to Albuquerque after a weekend (or a week) at
the cabin, we passed the ranch and always commented we’d like to take a drive across
it. But it was private property, and we were unable to do so. Now it is a
federally owned National Preserve and open to the public. Alas, Clai never got
to walk it, but now he’s resting there amid splendid beauty and an air of
peaceful serenity, something he did not have a lot of in his time on this
chose the general area, but Grant selected the spot, and he picked well. It is
a small clearing in a forested area with a good view of the grassland and
Little La Jara, screened by a few pines. I asked why this spot, and he answered
this was where he’d build a cabin if he were able to do so. He chose well.
I feel that Clai had the last word. As we were leaving the clearing to return
to my GMC Terrain, I tripped on the uneven ground and fell hard. Managed not
only to skin both knees badly, but also got my forehead and my nose. Took Grant
forever to get me to my feet… and he has bad back problems without a dad flat
on his face. Why did I think Clai had the last word? Perhaps he was saying, “Come
on, Dad, you and Grant spend a little more time with me.”
that we could. Goodbye, Son I hope your approve the spot we chose as your final
resting place. I love you… we love you.
thank you for once again indulging me in a personal moment. But in this hectic
world of uprisings and pandemics and political infighting that threaten to
render our nation apart, I thought an interlude like this might serve all of us…
not just me and my family.
safe and stay strong.
my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say…
so say it!
A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:
My personal links:
you next Thursday.
New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.
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