Tag Archives: family

A new era begins

AMARILLO, Texas — I have returned to commence the next step in a journey I didn’t expect to take.

It will be a journey tinged with happiness, but also some sadness.

Once I depart this city, I will be able to have both of my sons nearby for the first time in, oh, more than 30 years. My older son is moving from the Panhandle to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where I now live near where my younger son lives with his wife and daughter.

The sadness comes — as many of you no doubt are aware — because my beloved bride, Kathy Anne, won’t be there to greet us. It’s just the three of us now, my sons and me.

Our older son graduated from high school in 1991 and went to college in Huntsville, about a two-hour drive from Beaumont, where we were living at the time. Our youngers son graduated from HS the following year and moved to Dallas to attend college; our younger son never looked back.

My wife and I moved from Beaumont to Amarillo in early 1995. Our older son graduated from college that year and moved to Amarillo to start his career.

But for all those years, we were separated from our younger son.

That is about to change. My older son had talked out loud for some time about moving from the High Plains to be near family. The loss of my bride to cancer in February accelerated his plans.

I am delighted to have both of my sons, along with my daughter-in-law and granddaughter, close by. I only wish our family was complete. Tragically, that cannot occur.

Meanwhile, my son and I are preparing to help his brother pack up.

A new era is about to begin. Pray for all of us.


Preparing for a sad, but also joyful, duty

I am preparing at this moment to take a four-hour ride from Dallas-Fort Worth airport to Portland, Ore., where I will participate in what can be best described as a cycle of life ritual.

I will bid farewell to my beloved uncle, Jim Phillips. I will be there along with his wife, his children, many of his grandchildren, one of my sisters and virtually all of my cousins on my mother’s side of my boisterous family.

It will sadden me to say goodbye. It also will enable us to rejoice in the full and fruitful life he had over the span of his 93 years on this good Earth. We will gather to remember the richness that Uncle Jim brought to us. I trust we all will in our own way pledge to cling to those memories as we move on through the rest of our lives. Those thoughts will not sadden me. They will make me smile.

These events are part of what all families must endure. Indeed, as I am now well into that stage of my own life, having just turned 70 a little while back, my sisters, along with my wife and sons, realize as I do that the clock is ticking for all of us. The number of our family elders with whom we grew up is diminishing  far too rapidly.

However, it is the inevitable march of time over which no one has any control.

It’s been said many times by many people perhaps over many adult beverages that “Not a single one of us gets outta here alive.”

So it goes … and so it will be.