It’s August, a perfect time to give myself a real vacation from thinking too hard about sticky stuff. Of course special thanks to Kansas voters who voiced the opinion of most Americans, and who have started my mind-cation off in the right direction. Added thank you to all who are still working to keep our Democracy out of the hands of those bent on destroying every last truth. You people deserve golden metals and shiny honors.
Today, as I watched the sun rise from high in the sky, I was reminded once again, that each day brings possibilities and choices for all of us. Mine is to take a needed long mental break and relax into the stretch of sunshine and family and joy ahead.
My Dad drove a convertible. Once he turned onto our crab tree lined lane, the volume of his Beethoven’s Fifth rattling everyone’s windows, a harbinger of his arrival sending us out to greet him. Top down, music soaring, he was beaming in the sunshine and wind, after a long day of doctoring. After dinner rides to the Dairy Queen, a pile of neighborhood kids squashing into his back seat, quarters held tight in our palms, eager for one of those delicious dipped cones. My hair whipping around my face yet seriously nothing felt better on a hot night than those rides in his red convertible. Every summer I find myself, windows down, radio up, driving a bit too fast for the curves ahead, thinking of his love of all things summer, chasing those carefree snippets of youth.
All people walk through life making a ripple, one that perhaps seems bigger with hindsight, but there are some who create a wave all their own, visible from the very start which only gets taller and more powerful each day. Our Uncle Brian was that sort. I say our because he can be claimed by so very many. Large families are like that. But for those whose family extends far beyond bloodline, those titans are impossible to possess solely. Titled by those who called him brother, cousin, husband, uncle, god-father, father, grand-father, boss, colleague, even competitor, Captain Brian Anthony McAllister’s list of affiliates is endless. Who among us could not call this man ours?
Legends demand a status all their own, clearly larger than average, yet touching us all. Brian was tenacious, persistent, generous, patriotic, often crazy and certainly wild, but with a contagious laugh, and the ability to make you feel as if you were the very best. Waking a man with this largess easily filled rooms with people, each also laughing even while they shed tears, all remembering his stories and their stories with him, in vivid happiness, recalling his prodigious love, feeling gratitude for their connection to him.