Whether you voted for him or not, whether or not you agreed with him, you cannot deny he was a patriot – in the strongest sense of the word. Mr. McCain believed in this country and in democracy. Even with his foibles, faults and characteristics, he was honest. His travails during the war in Vietnam made him more determined to work for his country; he said it was during this time that he “fell in love” with his country. Because of those years in Vietnam, he continually suffered physically, but was not defeated by these limitations; he just seemed that much more determined to serve. His willingness to listen, may have often led to disagreements, but always discussions. During his service in the Congress, he looked at the facts, assessed them, encouraged participation from all sides. It was said he defied ideology; Jon Meacham called him an “umpire.” Mr. McCain was a man of intelligence, integrity and values, trusting his strong common sense. These qualities were seasoned with his sense of humanity and humor. When he made mistakes, he admitted them, adhering to his own principles. While he could also be described as a curmudgeon, crusty and a maverick in his dealings, one witnessed grace and a steadfast decency, even during tedious campaigns. When someone in the Press became an irritant to him and sometimes ignored, he soon relented. That person became a witness to his forgiving nature. After all, he knew how important an informed media is to democracy. Please, let us honor this man’s legacy and all for which he stood. His patriotic demeanor should be treasured, respected and never forgotten. It is a legacy we so greatly need during this time; let us not diminish that and endeavor to salvage honor. Thank you, John Sidney McCain III for your service.
Truthfully, it was like a light bulb being turned on – granted, more like a newer light bulb that takes a few minutes to come to full power. Still, I’ve concluded that I am beginning to pass through another portal. A portal leading to more challenge, more change and a different life. I have indeed passed through several portals in my life, but this one seems a little different. Perhaps it is the melancholia surfacing as I go about preparing. It was a major decision, possibly influenced to a degree by having faced a few unexpected personal challenges this last year which have led me to re-evaluate my home environment. So, my surroundings will be changing. It is time. Yes, it is time to admit that although I can still keep up with the place in which I live, I probably need to accept that it will eventually become more difficult. It’ll make financial sense, too. My current home isn’t young (nor am I), the general maintenance is a regular challenge. All homes need some sort of maintenance; the older they grow, the more they need. I think for being 45 years old, the house is still in decent shape. Yet I do know that could change. I, indeed, was blessed to find such a home – having now lived in it for 16 years. This was the second home I’ve bought on my own, in my own name; however, over the last 25 years, it is the third home I’ve maintained for which I have been solely responsible. I have more than a strong attachment to this place, the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere, and one of the nicest. Sigh. It is two story though (steps a little hard on the knees,) and around 2,200 sq. ft. – a bit to clean on my own, true, but I’ve done it!
The good news, I will be renting a lovely smaller home owned by my daughter, a home with which I am familiar. It is located in a smaller town, a county seat; a town culturally rich, but less hectic than the area in which I now live. I have, though, greatly loved this area – access to such a variety of things enhancing the quality of life. But, the huge PLUSIS to be going back to a place with which I am familiar, a place closer to my daughter (and to my long time BFF’s.) Yet, it will be new. New circumstances, new routines, a new time, a different me. Not only in age, but in experience. I have worked since I was a teen ager in various jobs of increasing responsibilities until I stopped working full time several years ago. The activities I’ve taken on since then have been much different than those of my profession, but so rewarding. And, I have been most fortunate to have been able to maintain my living conditions and environment. However, when I moved to this area with a new job twenty years ago, I had “stars in my eyes,” great hopes and expectations. Several of those hopes came to fruition, many of them did not. Yes, that is life. Now, I take on the next phase of my life with fewer “stars”, a little fear, yet wish to recreate some of the enthusiasm that I once possessed, some of that joy. As I prepare for this portal transition (lots of work yet to come,) I am attempting to reevaluate all of my stuff, my life – what do I need? Want? My home is a diary of mine and my daughter’s life – what I experienced before her, and what we shared since then. Many mountains, a few valleys. This stuff surrounding me has been hard to sort, and the review has brought on some of that melancholia mentioned. It has helped, though, emphasize the many blessings I’ve had. Thus, all of these memories are valuable and, I think, what if I didn’t have them. Then there are all the folks I know, who have come to this home. The liaisons I had when I worked, those established over the last 16 years I had hoped to maintain. These contacts, though, are beginning to diminish, and I do feel a large void. So, this is probably one other reason it is time for a change to take place. Yes, relationships evolve over the years….as a single person I have been painfully aware of this. The new relationships created with my recent activities will be especially cherished, but it was nice to have had the feeling of longtime friends near. For everything, though, there is a season. As I move toward the next season, let me shake this heavy heart, revive the gusto, strength and hope so that I can whiz through the next portal of transition. For, the “best is yet to be.”