Monday, August 13, 2012


When I was in my fourth year of high school I served as the President of the Student's Council. One day I was sitting at our kitchen table preparing a speech to give to the student body at an assembly the following day. I always stood and read my speeches out loud before I gave them and my audience that night was, as usual my mom and dad.  When I got done I asked what they thought. Mom hemmed and hawed but dad cut right to the chase. He pulled me aside after mom left and said, " Son your speech was good in terms of grammar and syntax, but you're not smart enough yet to be that long winded." Although it took the wind out of my sails a bit at the time he was exactly right back then and twenty odd years later he is still right. When compared to giving speeches the great thing about blogging is that you don't have to be very smart to offer up long winded posts on topics you really have no business writing about. You just have to keep at it. After a long pause to deal with all that life was throwing at me it looks like I'm back, at least for the moment.

As all of you who read our Paradigm Farms blog already know, we lost Melissa's dad to cancer early last week. Melissa did an excellent and unimproveable job of writing a very moving tribute to her dad and I probably ought to let that topic rest. However, before I do I have one story I'd like to share with you here.

For a whole variety of reasons, we decided it would be best to send Melissa and her mother to Moscow on our third and final trip to bring home our new son Carter. During the week they were away her dad and I spent a lot of time together and he became more and more restless as the week wore on. Melissa, her mother and Carter were due on a late evening flight from New York the day they were to arrive home so I was somewhat surprised to find Tom sitting wide awake outside in his chair with every light in the house and garage on at 4:32 am when I left to start morning chores. He waved at me on the way by to let me know everything was okay....well, more or less okay anyway. I got through with my work and came home about four and a half hours before their flight was due. I stepped out of the shower and much to my surprise I found Tom waiting in my driveway ready to go get supper and get on to the airport. Supper took about fifteen minutes and the drive to the airport killed another three quarters of an hour. Tom spent much of the remaining time pacing the large mostly empty waiting area with a half full cup of cold coffee and telling everyone in the room that he was waiting with me for his daughter, wife and new grandson to get off the plane. When the plane finally landed and folks started appearing at the gate he was so worked up that the TSA agent working the control point had to ask him to back up several times. He was instantly smitten with Carter, but in truth he was no more smitten than he was with any of the rest of his grandkids. It just felt that way. I lost my dad more than fifteen years ago and in a lot of ways Tom became something of a surrogate parent to me. I will miss his presence very, very much.


Bif said...

So sorry for the loss for the entire family. The Tom sounds like quite the character, and a truly good person.

So glad for you both on the arrival of Carter, may he fill your hearts and home with joy, and may he become the man Tom knew he would be.

RuckusButt said...

I don't think there can be too many stories told about people who have touched our lives. Blogging gives a great forum for letting those lives live on.

This is a story that will mean a great deal to Carter, once he's old enough to appreciate it. He will know from day one how much he is loved and welcomed into your family and this story will be a great example. I imagine it wasn't easy for you to stay at the farm and wait, either, and that will be it's own story for him. Pretty amazing.

Welcome back, Jason.