A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Ukraine, 2009-2011), historian, college teacher, and retired nonprofit director, Fran offers a multi-layered perspective on current issues, culture and community. A different voice. A unique perspective. From the bottom up.
is my dear brother Loren's 70th birthday. I'm not sure he
would have liked it, but he would have carried on, as he always did. He would keep my sister Andy and me on our toes, too. He would rant with us, and keep us resisting. He was a warrior for truth and justice. He embraced diversity. He was a compassionate Aspie. He would never be silent, never give up. His spirit lives on.
But I miss him. It's been seven years since his last hike. He died
along the trails of the Aucilla River in northern Florida, a place he loved. I was in Ukraine
then, and my grief at the news of his sudden death from a heart attack knew no bounds. I don't think he was
ready to go, but the goddess he loved called him home. I wasn't ready for sure. Nor our sister Andy, who greeted two very nice, grim-faced police officers at her door on a late Saturday afternoon in May 2010. She knew something was wrong, and fainted when the officers told her the news. So sudden, so unfair, just a few months before his autobiography, An Asperger Journey, on which he had worked so hard and for so long, came out.
would have been on fire at the outrages of the tRump regime and the
blatant efforts of the oligarchs to enrich themselves at the expense
of ordinary, hardworking Americans. He would have railed against the
lies, the destruction of government agencies, the tyranny of the Bannon/Mercer/Pence cabinet and Senate Republicans to destroy our democracy. He would
have been on the front lines of the Resistance.
only the memories remain. And the fighting spirit, the voice of
compassion and empathy, the light from a lovely soul. Here is a song for Loren on his 70th, a Mary Oliver poem he would have loved because it is about nature in harmony and at peace with itself. Song for Autumn by Mary Oliver
In the deep fall
don't you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don't you think
of the birds that will come--six, a dozen--to sleep