|Leonardo y cousin Ricardo. BONUS! We´ve always accepted one another as we really are!|
In this part of my story I will mention that I always drank a lot as a late teen until I was 35 years old and abandoned the hooch. Drinking alcoholicly impacted my choices heavily in the first half of my life. I always drank too much whenever I had the opportunity to drink at all. That would include drinking left over drinks when my parents and their friends were at the piano singing ¨Let Me Call You Sweetheart¨ down in the recreation room, post dinner, when I was a child.
After arriving at college at San Jose State I drank regularly. Regularly meaning at least a couple of times a week, at night, after school or after work. Drinking many drinks nightly as of the Fall of 1962 into the year 1963. I'm not going to turn my personal story into a drunk-a-log but I can´t pretend my life is/was any different than it was/is. I strive for a clear view of my very own reality because I have a tendency to pretend it is nicer/better/prettier than it is (or worse than it really was). I am now 71+ years old, I have been alcohol free for more than half or my life and I am the the person I think I was intended to be. Quite a trip so far. Reality just takes some getting used to.
I just NOW spoke with my favorite cousin. He is dying of congestive heart failure. He lives with one of his children in Texas. He has hospice care call on him daily. He is going to be moved shortly to ¨special¨ care facility soon. We, really, just a few minutes ago, were laughing about ¨how could you ever end up in Texas?¨ He said, ¨I´ve lived here for ten years now and I still haven´t found much.¨ So there you have it, we are Pacific North/Westerners all the way through until death do we part. Even far/far back in our memories where the pine trees grow all the way up the steep mountains and where the cold delicious water flows. I can taste it. We hiked a lot. I know he can taste the pure mountain water too.
I love my cousin. I was Junior Usher in his wedding when I was 16 and he was in his 20´s. He had just returned from Germany where he served as a MP (Military Police, not Member of Parliament). He was/is a giant and muscle bound guy and I never stopped being his ¨little cousin¨ ...including right now on the telephone. Nice. We didn't really get any older, I just found that out.
We have always lived far away from one another. He's had two families and many children. He and I are very close in some kind of deep-down spiritual (not to be confused with religious) way. Best of all, bonus, we always accepted one another as we were/are: Different from each other, but very/very entertained by our differences. Laughing, loving, free and glad. Lots of real life adventures, both. I love my cousin, Dick, who just announced to me, not ten minutes ago, that ¨I am about to croak¨...then he laughed until he couldn´t talk any more. Gasp (and his hearing aid fell out)! ¨I love you¨ he said. I said ¨I love you too.¨ We meant it, we always have.
A telephone call from Guatemala to Tyler, Texas...forever memorable in the very best way. We didn't need to say much because we knew it all...already/anyway.
to be continued