Written on the airplane February 8 as the full moon shines in a clear sky as I go to witness my father’s passage from this life.
Scott got home yesterday afternoon after far too many weeks away from home. This holiday season our California families needed us - spine fusing/gender transitioning/Alzheimer’s diagnosis/body failure type of need. It felt so good to be able to show up for these wondrous beings who haven’t always shown up for us and who have shown up for us in unexpectedly brilliant ways. Difficult after Scooty spent the fall sharing the trauma and resilience of his life. But we showed up. And felt strong and mature for doing so.
Scott finally came home and reconvened. As he was fixing my birthday dinner (January) and we were opening holiday cards and presents (December), Scott hollered. “There are a lot of calling Stacks!” Ended up being the call we’ve been expecting. Roy Wayne Stacks is preparing for his exit. It’s not going to be a splashy affair like his musical productions every Christmas, Easter, and often July 4th. It is meant to be a quiet passage. Surrounded by his little sisters, his sons, and his kick around pal of 50+ years. Sounds nice. May we all be so lucky.
Cut to a wondering of mine for a few years now: what my relationship to social media may be. It’s a hard medium for connection. I feel like right now we need more than anything else to bring our bodies into time and space together. Social media allows a distance that has manifested in a lack of responsibility for the effect we have on others. At the same time it helps us cross distance to be present for each other when our bodies can’t be in time and space together. So, I’m curious as I launch my potion show how I might engage in this medium.
At the airport in Cedar Rapids over a Manhattan as I prepared to fly to Denver for an overnight layover with my sister and niblings, I was feeling myself. My friend lent me her new wool scarf with classic bicycles as my power and love scarf. My hair looks delicious. My mustache is on point. I decided I wanted to post a #griefglam pic with my Vera Wang sunnies. I paused for a minute. Would it be gauche to do so?
Didn’t matter. The texts and DMs and comments have been a wash of love over me. I know when I arrive I’ll lose myself in the experience of his passing. Before heading in to that whirlpool within which I’m sure I’ll be beaten up and bruised, I am grateful to be bathed in love from my angels. It’s gonna take a lot to be present and not check out, be loving and not lash out, be strong as I take my lashes. I feel bolstered and imagine with my angel network on notice I’ll keep being reminded that I’m not alone.
What a gift to witness the passing of one so significant. I’ve heard stories of this opportunity. I hope they let me bring a keyboard in. I’ll play hymns all day and night for that man. He deserves a smooth and loving passage. I hope I can be some of the jet stream ‘neath his log boat. I hope the rush of the final drop will be thrilling and not clenching for him and my mother. He has loved and been loved. He has created art and elevated hearts and facilitated communion for so many. He has held the hands and spoken prayers for moments of such significance that dozens and probably hundreds of people can say he was there when they needed someone or something to hold on to.
I hope I can hold mom just as firmly as she crumbles and rises and stumbles and laughs. She will have her three boys around her. But that kick around pal of hers...well, they got a lifetime of companionship. I hope she enjoys some play time before she leaves us. I have some adventures in mind. It’s gonna be some time to adjust to sitting at the widows table. Great thing is she has a gaggle of widows to join with whom she feels connected. And so many other tables that will welcome Nancy Nice. She’s a great woman.
Back to my title question. Was it gauche to post something so macabre and self-focused? Did I exploit this moment for inappropriate gain? One of my longest friends, Hiromi, when I texted that question said, “It seems just right, especially knowing how you gain energy from being with others. Plus, not many people allow themselves to be vulnerable like that. Love you Jonathan.” Yeah. That feels right. Also, who cares what anyone else thinks? Ain’t my business. My business is to love and be loved. And I’m feeling the love real nicely.
Bon voyage, little buddy. You have been a great addition to the world we inhabited. You loved deeply and wholly. I hope as you journey into whatever comes next you feel propelled with a rainbow thrust of hearts. Me and my people from across this grand country are at your back. And thanks sister moon for Illuminating my path.