A depiction Of Closure………..#217 (the 90’s)

Gathering to pay tribute

Gathering to pay tribute

Everything in life has a meaning,  once this is accepted a semblance of reasoning can prevail,  the embroidered family members beginning to arrive, an altogether acknowledgement of the architect of the Willsons,  something he never received in life.   The presence of Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren giving a buoyancy to the milestone,  inaugurating a celebrated festive aura to what otherwise may have been a solemn occasion.   The assemblage of youthful Grandchildren having been inaugurated only once before, the passing years giving a contrasting presence,  most no longer ascribed with adolescence,  a number having found adulthood inherent with family countenance.

Pine Mountain Lake

Pine Mountain Lake

The late May weather providing a warmth,  the sojourning family accumulation accepting the attraction of Pine Mountain Lake.   Katherine and Don DaValle,  Gary’s sister and brother-in-law extending an invitation for those desiring a to journey to Groveland to experience the realm of their Pine Mountain Lake addition.    The lake front house giving access to a sandy beach,  the water playing host to those with children,  their water-borne activity a gladdening entertainment,  the apperception of youth a joy to behold,  except for the axiomatic reason for the assemblage.

Gary's grandson Garrett - Brenda's daughter Heather - Sandra, Brenda and Mary in the background

Gary’s grandson Garrett – Brenda’s daughter Heather – Sandra, Brenda and Mary in the background

The day of desideratum was approaching,  the funeral home acknowledging a viewing schedule,  Gary querying his mother and sisters in accompanying him to bestow his last respects.   His sisters Katherine and Nancy adamant in their refusal,  the antediluvian aphorism,  they want to remember him as he was,  not as he is this day.   Gary applying persuasion,  his mother finally agreeing to attend,  his children Robert,  Sandi, Scott and Katherine’s step-son Eddy also in agreement to his request.   The Chevrolet Blazer journeying north,  Scott and Eddy following in Scotts car on  the winding two lane highway 49,   the 45 miles not an ardent passage,  Gary questioning his inner-self,  his response to seeing his Dad for the last time.   Entering the funeral home viewing room,  approaching a flag draped open casket,  Gary accepted his Father laying at rest,  an expression of peace reflecting his countenance.   The words were not conveyed for other to hear,  but he was certain that his Father was waiting to hear them,  they came from within,  deriving from the heart,  words he had never spoken before,  “Dad I love you“.   The trip back to Columbia found mostly silence,  with occasional small talk about the arrangement and the flowers,  Gary relating to his mother the words of Eddy when speaking to Scott at the funeral home,   “We’ve lost our best Buddy”.   Gary finding an aura of comfort with his decision to say goodbye, the morrow bringing a final resting for his Dad

A final rest

A final rest

A chapel observance,  family members and a scattering of friends in attendance,  the sound of Bob Willson’s favorite song,  Danny Boy,  interwoven amidst the recorded music discoursed before the brief service.   The flag draped casket remaining closed,  a request of Gary’s mother and sister‘s,  the elder son not in agreement,  but his supposition invalidated.   The entourage  leaving the chapel,  proceeding up the Jackson grade,  a déjà vu moment,  a picture of a young boy named Mike,  sitting beside his father,  a red 1940 Chevy pickup climbing the grade,  befalling the not withstanding Argonaut and Kennedy mines to the east.   The fleeting 4 mile journey to the Sunset View Cemetery,  a newly established necropolis dedicated in 1989,  the gates of the pavilion an entrance to a diminutive but well manicured eternal resting place.   Among the green field of markers,  a lone flag draped casket,  a cardinal of consciousness,  the military honor guard from  American Legion Post 108 administering a final salute to a comrade in arms,  the bugler’s sounding of taps,  a fitting farewell to a fellow veteran and soldier of life.   Words were articulated,  but needlessly for those who knew Robert Willson,  his character spoke for itself,  humble but luminous,  arbitrary but reverent,  solitary in appearance but with compassion and benevolence dwelling within.   The honor guard performing the traditional folding and presentation of the flag to the widow concluding a final tribute to the heritage foundation that enabled the Willsons.

Scott, their Grandmother and Robert returning

Scott, their Grandmother and Robert returning

Gary's Mother and Cousin Lorraine

Gary’s Mother and Cousin Lorraine

The gathering at the Columbia home of Nancy was memorable,  the solemn of a reflective experience lifted,  succumbing,  a concealed relief with its conclusion,  the abiding throng of family and visitors conversing with alternative regards,  the cloud of despondency evaporating.   Gary having the opportunity to acquaint himself with a person whom he hadn’t seen in 38 years,  his first cousin Lorraine,  the daughter of his Aunt Grace,  the only known Willson relative from his generation.   His youthful recollection,  recalling her as very tall,  remembering she was a member of the 6 footers club of Santa Clara County, Gary still questioning its ambition.   The bustle of the afternoons activity coming to a close,  the gradual departing of friends expressing condolences,  the families segregating to spirit their travel,  the evenings arrival,  a solitude , Gary, his family remaining with Nancy and his mother,  the Oklahoman bound contingency, the Denton’s and Scott to leave in the morning.

Gary performing an endogenous audit of himself,  concluding a consequential fact,  thru the years his  failure to find time to know his Father,  the son abiding in a self-interest world for the past thirty-three years.  Gary accepted the mounting anguish within,  enduring  the self-accusation of what could have been,  should have been and now will never be.   The cloud scored golden sun,  its colorful hue descending in the west,  a Cimmerian shade of darkness starting to prevail,  a depiction of closure.

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