Thursday, July 1, 2021

Goodbye, My Son blog post #504

Photo of Cerro Little La Jara, Valles Caldera National Preserve

Last week, 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.

 But 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.

 For 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 earth.

 I 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.

Somehow, 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.”

 Would that we could. Goodbye, Son I hope your approve the spot we chose as your final resting place. I love you… we love you.


Readers, 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.

 Stay safe and stay strong.

 Now 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:



Twitter: @dontravis3

 See you next Thursday.



New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.


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