Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Last Good Bye

Sunday was challenging, a friend had tried to reach me by phone.  When my phone got charged and turned on I read her message and returned the call.  A great friend of her's and her husband was gone.  We talked for quite a long time.

Sadly I headed for bed.  Dan usually reads the paper in bed.  As I came to bed he said, Pat died.   A second blow.  He had fought hard for a long time this man with gentle humor and a love of teasing.  Many of his accomplishments I knew some I wish I had known.  He was a complex man.  A man of vision.  A man who loved his family and his people.

Monday there was no school.  I stopped by the college to talk with John about my workshop Tuesday evening.  He had already done my printing.  I was antsy and subdued.  I still needed to get going.  The trip always takes me about an hour to make Pryor,

I had lots of time to think as first the weather was windy, then rainy, then snowing.  I arrived at the high school parked.  I was only a few minutes early I found a seat.  The color guard came in.

Most people have one major career.  Pat had three.  Tribal government - Tribal Chairman.  High School teacher of history and language. Retiring from that occupation he served as a pastor since 1978 to his death.

As we paid our last respects people filed past the open casket.  There on his chest was his bible. Placed on a corner of the open lid hung his war bonnet.  We had come to say goodbye to this good man.