I shared my last post with my dad…

  this is his reply, and mine…
(my, I do get a bit wordy sometimes…)

~

Your blog is wonderful! What a treat. Not a coincidence your timing nor
the content of your blog. Here is why, I just started reading a book
titled Heaven written by Randy Alcorn. In many ways what you write in
your blog is what Randy Alcorn writes in his book and there are
delightful parallels.

He did an in depth study of the Bible to determine, as best as one can,
what heaven will be like. The book is 500 pages and I’ve read about 70.
What I have read to date describes heaven as a new earth. An earth
without pain, suffering, death, illness and all the evils we suffer. An
earth with animals at peace, flowers that do not wilt, water that tastes
like no water you’ve ever tasted, and nature that is startlingly
beautiful. All that accept Christ will have resurrected bodies that are
perfect and enter into this paradise. Conversations will with saints,
scholars, and figures of history about subjects that intral us. Work
will be joyful and perfectly suited to how we were created.

It is odd but I’ve never contemplated what heaven will be like. I
wouldn’t take a trip to Australia without knowing something about it,
yet I’ve never given heaven any serious thought. Anyway really liked
your email; joyful and so right to focus on what God had revealed of
heaven that we can experience now.

Love, Dad

Thank you Pa – I;m so very happy that you liked it, as it was a joy, a revelation, a meditation in beauty to write – and so incredibly enlightening.

It took some thinking, and that, unfortunately, makes sense. We don’t usually think about these things, or realize how much beauty there is out there, every single day, every single second. We forget, and all the news that we usually hear only ads to our realization of how much pain there is in our world.

Yes, there is pain, yes there is immense suffering and sorrow, more than we could probably ever imagine, and we wouldn’t want to. We try not to. Most of us live our lives in a haze, and although we see the horrors on the telivision or read them in the paper, we think that they aren’t directly related to us. We (especially americans, lower case a intentional) are beautifully wrapped up in our own little worlds which seldom reach further than a close knit group of friends, seldom reach past whatever “community” we have created. We live in a bubble, and whatever else goes on, so be it – it doesn’t affect us, does it?

It does. It really does. There are many examples I could give you if I thought about it, but I’ll simply give you the easiest one – and really, this is on a very small scale compared to everything else that is happening in the world…

Sit down, think of all the people around you within a mile of your (our) incredibly beautiful home on Castellana Street. You’ve lived there for over 0 years, so I would imagine that you know quite a few of our neighbors – or perhaps not. Our neighborhood has changed, hasn’t it? From the days I played with Allen and Brett, walking up the hill or skateboardiing down it, from the days my few friends and I played under the bridge, lighting models of aeroplanes on fire and throwng them down the steep incline, in the dirt creating holes that our plastic soldiers could hide, our imaginations seething with dreams, possibilities, and laughter. We were just being kids, hidden by the bushes, just being kids…
It’s changed, hasn’t it? Now the wonderful dirt hill under the bridge that bred so much imagination and life is covered in concrete mixed with sharp rocks. As I write this to you the tears fall – I haven’t thought about it in years…

But I digress.

Think of all the neighbors you know in only a small mile around our home.
Now, think of how much they care about our California Governor proposing to cut the funding to people with HIV/AIDS by 11 million dollars, as well as taking away accupuncture, adult dental, and so much more from Medi-Cal benefits.

I would warrant a guess that at least 80% of them don’t give a damn. I have lived there, I know the people.I mean hell, they live in La Jolla, and it took quite a bit to get a piece of property there, didn’t it? They care about how their money works for them, and the politician who can best protect it. Protect it by cutting very necessary funding to people who need them, funding that will help keep them alive. I know many of these people, and many of them are incredible people who have wisdom and knowledge that they can share with others, due to the pain they have suffered, suffered like no one would ever want to know, and if I have my way, no one ever will again… One day…

Do you think that they give a damn about funding for people with HIV/AIDS? Of course they might say so if you asked them – but what is on their mind when they vote? “Screw the faggots, I need my money to afford this monstrosity I live in. They had it coming. they deserve it…” They tell themselves what they need to. We all do, but – where is truth?

Pops – your only son is one of those people who this affects. Your only son has HIV/AIDS, and as a result of a decision by our governor, it has taken me more than a month to get the medications I need – and I still can’t get them. Tell this to everyone you encounter. Tell them that your son could die a very slow, very painful death because they put an X on the wrong box while filling out their ballot – if the pain doesn’t make him take his own life first. I say that in all seriousness. I have though about it for many years, and have made this decision – if and when it comes to that time, I will not be a burden. I have written my life, and I can just as easily write it away. I am the author, and only I will choose the end to my story…

This is an example on a very small and personal scale because I wanted to make a point. Everything we do affects someone, somewhere.

Everything.

We have the power, more power than we could ever my imagine, to help people. The power to make them smile and forget their worries for a moment. We have incredible gifts, and in your language, wouldn’t it be a sin not to share them with others, as much as we can, every single day?

You, my very dear pops, my dad, have grown tremendously since I first met you. When I was a child you were a boss – that was your life then, and I understand that is what you needed to be – I mean hell, you had the Peddler, and it became you. At that time in your struggle to keep it going, I was – or I felt – like just another employee of yours. A special one, of course, but still…

Over the years, we have grown a lot. I became an adult, tried to do everything right, tried to have something new and promising to say on every phone call, tried to be a member of the corporate world as I thought that is what you wanted, and I didn’t want to let you down.

I must say – you have suprised me. The old dog was taught new tricks, I have trained you well – and I relish the few times we get to spend together. I have become who I always have been, and with it comes a full heart and immense sorrow. On top of the sorrow comes a joy that cannot be described. I know beauty.
This is the life I have chosen for me, and I am one of the fortunate ones, as I remembered it, and it was found. You suprised me, because…
you accepted it. You accepted me, for who I am.

Old dog, my Pops – you have been elevated to a sacred standing in my life, far beyond my pops. I have very few true friends, and without question, that is of my own doing, bred of what I have learned that I needed throughout my life, and when I wasn’t numbed on heroin, meth, coke – or anything else I could get my hands on, I listened, I learned. I lerned what a true friend was – and you are one of the few.

Damn, this became much more than I expected it to be, but hells – ain’t no suprise.

If I remember correctly, the purpose of this reply is to remind you how simple it is to create happpiness in the world, I have strayed from the purpose – but I write, and my words are seldom unnecessary when they are written. At least I wish to believe that.

SO, my friend, my pops – when you recieve this message tomorrow, what are you going to do to create a better world? I can never thank you enough for your contributions, but money isn;t everything.

Talk to people. Tell them about your son. You know enough about me, and you have a talent with words – and yah, Pa, with your words you can change so much more than the corporate world – and though what you do is incredibly valuable, don’t you think that you can do more?

I know you. And I know you have so much more to offer.

Forty years ago, did you think that your boy would call you out? Everything happens for a reason, and we’re just finding out ours.
If you have a gift to give, you must.

It’s actually quite easy.

I’ll let you figure it out for yourself – but I’m watching –

And, I love you. You and that crazy ma. I love you both.

Thank you for all that you have given me. Someday, I will return the favor.

~ Casey, kSea, your boy.

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