Mudcat Café message #2363408 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #111039   Message #2363408
Posted By: Big Mick
11-Jun-08 - 01:57 PM
Thread Name: Obit: Dick Rodgers, FSGW Institution (May 2008)
Subject: RE: Obit: Dick Rodgers, FSGW Institution (May 2008)
Rita, the pictures are such a joy. They cause one to think on the importance of reflection, instead of judgement, on the life and circumstances of one's existence. As I viewed pictures of this man of whom I have known for such a short time, I found myself reflecting on him at every stage of his life. From the pudgy, adorable little boy, to the lean young man in the ROTC uniform, to the man that I got a kick out of but who drove me crazy in the way he took care of those pipes and sang off key .... all these are the ingredients of the marvelous Mulligan stew that is, finally, a person's life. I use the term "Mulligan's stew" because it is never the same for each person. There is so much that goes into the broth of every single one of us, that judgement serves no purpose, and is something best left to the eternals, or barring that, the wind. What is apparent in all these posts is that Dick lived a life that, when ended, caused many people to realize how much they would miss him. What is apparent is that there is family that is saddened at his gettin' away, and will miss him. His life had worth, and we are all a bit better for his having been in it. There is complexity in his living, and it flavored all of our stews.

In the last three weeks, since Utah died, I have lost an Aunt, Uncle, and two cousins. In reflecting on Dick's life while reading this thread, I came to think of the differences of when folks leave, and that brought me to think of these two relatives, from the two sides of my family. One lived a life that was characterized by passing through, loving family to be sure, but never reaching out. At the end there was no fanfare, not even a funeral, some good thoughts/memories from family members, but the realization that when a few folks die, so will those memories. The other lived a life of reaching out, working and celebrating things important in her life, and taking care to pay attention to those around her in a non-judgemental way. At the wake, there were folks from all walks of life, and all parts of her life, who talked, told stories, and grieved the loss while celebrating the life. There was poetry written, a spoken declaration of love from a "special" cousin who is learning impaired, but wiser than most of us in her ability to discern authenticate caring and love, I did a song for her, and everyone spoke of the impact this quiet, yet persistent woman had on their lives. Each of these two lived a life, loved, and left. But one left a lasting legacy on the lives touched, one that will be felt for generations, and one walked through, left a few memories, and was gone with the passing of time.

So it is with Dick. I think of the broth he brewed, and I realize that for all that went into his stew, he made an impact. I am not sure who or what put the unwanted spices in, but I do know this. Hidden within those spices lies an aftertaste that makes you realize later how much he was appreciated, and how the individuals whom he interacted with will remember him fondly. Even as I write this, I find myself grinning at the memory of he and I as I (in a very exasperated way) would rant about the leaks in the bellows, and joints, and bag of those pipes. And I smile because he would just look down at them with that little smile and (despite my ranting) say, "maybe if I use some beeswax or glue........". I just laughed out loud at the memory.

Good man, ya are, Dick Rodgers. May God be good to you. You decorated a small part of many rooms, and those who walk those rooms will be better for your presence in them.

All the best,