A rare moment of personal sharing…to celebrate...to share.
Some people believe when there is physical death, the deceased spirit journeys through the physical world recounting its life; resolving what his or her life meant, and observing the aftermath as others deal with that person’s transition from one dimension to another one. Some people say that exploration requires a few months, others accept that this passage takes a year.
My brother, Leonard, was cremated on October 13, 2015 after he lost his life in a tragic car accident on a darkened Florida roadway in mid-September of last year. After his year of exploration during which his cremains rested in a parlor room of our Auburn, NY home, as promised, Lisa and I laid him to final rest in a submersible urn on October 13, 2016. He was rested in an area of downtown Orlando, Florida where he spent time; trusted the people; enjoyed the environs of a park and lake, and where he celebrated the magnificence of life and his involvement in the complexities of humanity. On that afternoon...
Embracing his penchants for certain simple things, at 4 PM, we had Coronas at the Cantina on Wall Street, followed by rum and cokes at Waitiki.
Awhile earlier, around 3:30, we started his “Remembrance Celebration” with reflections about the past year (when we traveled to Orlando in 2015 to handle Leonard's affairs) at “the alligators and the fountain directly in front of the Orange County Regional History Center.”
With a life span from 1954 to 2015, Leonard was quietly laid to rest with actionable love and caring. And as his spirit was re-set free, I reflected on and recognized that other people were going through the normal activities of their lives...running, walking dogs, socializing, meditating, projecting heartfelt wishes while some other folks were going through life oblivious to, and not understanding that a giving presence, interaction, and personal commitment provides enriching evidence that then fully emboldens, strengthens, and expands just thoughts to a higher and more profound level of love.
After returning home, Lisa and I started to put into perspective the past twelve months.
Leonard was known to repeatedly turn off and on lights where he lived in a group home in Orlando. While his remains were in our home, Lisa and I eventually accepted the multiplicity of times when a lamp was on when we went to bed, and that same lamp was off in the morning. When that started I thought it was due to a possible night time power failure. But moving the light switch from on to off indicates something else. Eventually, we started to laugh at those occurrences and just said, “That’s Leonard.” My brother enjoyed joking; fooling around, and scaring people, but never in a malicious manner.
For our part, Leonard’s journey with us created new relationships.
We thank John and Stephanie Romano and Ashley Owen of Winter Oak Funeral Home who handled Leonard in 2015 and 2016…we appreciate you, and know that each of you will continue to share a piece of our hearts. Your caring was manifested in your support, understanding, and professionalism.
We appreciated having lunch with Valencia College professor, writer, and aaduna contributor, Tamara Madison and her husband and one of her sons where they heard about our story more completely then what Tamara heard when we visited with her on campus last year.
Ms. Miles…Lulu…part of our family…you helped make possible Leonard’s final resting through your gift of love and caring. And as you know, your spirit was felt through telephone lines as he was let go. The angels knew what they were doing at Washington, DC’s The Golden Temple restaurant back in the Seventies.
Simon and Loren, your wishes, love, and support buoyed our spirits as we let Leonard go. You continue to be family through joyous and challenging times. With Simon being my brother, I am blessed.
His tee exclaimed, “taking life with a grain of salt…FLORIDA” The visual adjacent to these words was an iced Margherita with a lime wedge and one of those paper cocktail umbrellas.
To say the least…
My life was enriched by Leonard’s presence and his willingness to open all facets of his existence to me. He made me a better person.
Light is patient,
To give is to