Life Ends: Please Roll Down a Hill Somewhere


That is my Dad with my daughters Portia and Libby at Taltree Arboretum in Valparaiso, Indiana. It is a gorgeous place to spend some time.  We went there for my Dad’s 70th Birthday and for our dog Steve’s 7th birthday.  

My Dad rolled down a big hill with those little girls.  I am too stuffy and uptight these days to do such nonsense.  I admire my galpal Whitney who introduced my girls to rolling down hills...tho Libby is short on the concept and tries to roll across the hill instead of down it. 


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That is what they were up to but I had to explain it to my Dad since it didn’t look like a successful downhill roll.  He showed them.  He rolled and laughed and I watched.  I took some pictures and felt I was missing out.




A few weeks after this wonderful day my Dad’s brother Paul died.  He had been sick but not...well not that sick?  It was a harsh surprise to get the phone calls, the text messages from Colorado inviting love and tears as my Uncle Paul’s three daughters and family gathered around him and his health failed utterly.  If you know me at all you know all my wildness is attributed to my “C Chromosome” as in Curlee, our family name.  My Dad and his three brothers Paul, Charlie and Johnny make up a wild and crazy foursome I am fully delighted in.  They are all musical, outdoorsy, wild and fun.  They love well.   They say “I’m Sorry.” and they are FOUR.  
Charlie, Johnny, Paul and Jimmy(MyDad)

My heart aches.  My head has been everywhere these last days.  I really shouldn’t even write about this.  I leave in a few days to travel with my Dad to honor Paul.  To try to console or at least cry with my family.  There will be singing.  Beer. Food. But the taste will be off because of our sadness. Some joy will be missing. 

I cannot imagine losing my Dad and I cannot imagine our family without Uncle Paul.  We need him there raising the crazy level or painting the rest of us while we are at it.   He made up songs for us every time we met.  He played and sang lots of songs next to Uncle Johnny and then my cousins Ericka and Josh began playing too.  I sang a favorite, The Circle Game, into my daughter’s hair and cried. I hope we will sing that together next week.  

Or that at least we try.

Uncles Charlie, Johnny, Paul and my Dad Jim

Uncle Paul’s last closing on his Care Journal the week before he died was “Love and Light and The Flow”  Perfectly Paul, and it was as if he knew we might need such an uplifting ending...at least in writing.  His daughters Ericka and Alexi sent out a formal announcement with the following piece by Runi which made me weep and hope and seek.  
Uncle Paul with his Mandolin last summer.

“Out beyond rightdoing and wrongdoing there is a field.  I’ll meet you there.  When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about."


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