.......continued from previous post.......
This picture was taken of Rich Buhler and me on Wednesday, January 11, this year. As good as he looks there, it is hard to imagine that 119 days later he would slip through the "thin veil" into heaven via the vehicle of pancreatic cancer. His almost two year fight was a valient one...to his last breath.
Some how, this good man, and very good friend of over 47 years had mustered the strength to attend one more Desert Fathers experience in the high desert of California. This, a group of us had been doing for almost 30 years.
Because it was a Wednesday (a day we most often had some form of communication between us...text, Skype, phone call...) and because we knew, deep down, this could be a last time together, in person, until we both got to heaven, we decided to get up a little early that morning for some time together before the rest of the men awakened.
This is a picture I will long cherish. Continue reading to learn what happened next...
He informed me I didn't know how to "really" scramble eggs. OK...dude...show me. lol Show me, and the rest of us, he did.
It was early on Tuesday morning, May 8, that Dianne called personally to let me know that Rich had finally made it "home" the previous night at 10:30pm. Even though there was a certain relief in knowing he suffered no more, the news hit hard...for her...for their kids...for all of us.
The next day, Wednesday, May 9, was a much more difficult day for me than expected. It was a very lonely Wednesday...and yet...though tears were easy to come by...a deep sense of relief continued to grow. But then the thought would slip in, "No more Wednesdays with Rich."
However, thankfully, the larger, better thought would show up..."No more Rich...husband...dad...granddad...friend for his precious family and other friends." Grief is a wierd "animal" that prowls around and shows up at the oddest moments. It was important to let it happen...and focus on loving this dear family and other of his/our friends."
So it came down to heading for Southern California to honor Rich and be with his family. Judy headed out several days early to be with her sister, who had lost her husband in February. I would join her in Orange County the Thursday before the memorial service.
Wednesday, May 16, the day before heading out, I was home alone getting ready for the mentoring appointments for the day...via Skype and in person. It seemed appropriate to scramble some eggs...Rich Buhler style. So I did...as evidenced by these pictures.
I'd be fudging the truth of the moment if I didn't own it was a very tender and meaningful time of remembering all the years shared together. I'd be less than truthful if I didn't share that Wednesdays with Rich will be missed.
I also need to own the truth that in our last conversation Rich challenged me to new depths/heights with where I longed to take the mentoring model that continues to form with regard to the Circle of Life/Three3rds of Life. He shared some deep, creative wisdom over these recent years about mentoring. Future projects will unpack that began in our conversations. Such is what a loving brother would do...did...challenge. The legacy of those conversations will continue to unfold going forward.
And so I scrambled some eggs, and sat down to breakfast in our kitchen, going over my part in Rich's memorial service that would take place at the Anaheim Vineyard on Saturday, May 19. I loved the fact that his kids had chosen me to have the "almost last word" of those moments...to pray a prayer of benediction over what would take place in honoring this good man.
On that Saturday morning all the Desert Fathers who were able to be there gathered at one of their homes to do breakfast together. Yup...you guessed it...we had scrambled eggs before heading for the church. It was extra good being with those good friends in that moment, with some of their spouses, as well.
What's the "secret" to Rich's eggs? Well...you'll have to come by for breakfast some time. :-) Here's my breakfast on that Wednesday morning, the 16th. Great coffee in one of my three favorite mugs (I'll even let you sip from that one the morning you come by...)...Seeduction bread from Whole Foods (about as healthy and hearty as one can chew on...with organic blueberry jam, too...)...eggs with white cheese, and just a little bit of basil sprinkled in.
Though life, for any of us, can get scrambled in a moment...or over a matter of weeks, days, years...if we pay careful to how the scramble ends up, a new taste, a good taste may show up. May the scramble of this day for you end up tasting good...as you give it time to do it's work in your life.
.......still to be continued...more to learn/share on the journey.......