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  • Gerald Tindal

Day 58: Planning and ending

Updated: Oct 14, 2018


Karsten,


Today’s just another day, waking up and you’re not here with us. Then again, you’d probably be busy planning your golf hat with 5Fore and taking classes. Planning your career. The ending of school. Forming a company to sell golf hats to well-heeled golfers. You had a talent for planning and ending being better connected with beginnings than most of us. Not planning and ending but planning and moving on. Beginning. Your roll. As you famously described it in family planning when a slight discord was around the corner in detailing the specifics and you didn’t want to take sides: “I’m just a leaf on a river.”


You were famous for coaching football. Helping Kevin with high schoolers, kids at their prime for making plans. About college. A job. Next steps. Leaving home and moving onto their own. Much like you, in your move to Whittier as a Poet. “The pen is mightier than the sword.” The homecoming statement on student T-shirts in your last year as we sat and watched you play. One of your last games, ending your career in collegiate football, but you were ready to move on. Begin again in returning to Eugene.


Your planning of football plays that rolled, one after another: End one play to begin the next. Move the ball down the field. Leave the field with a win-loss record and move on to the next game. It must be because you were a footballer that made you so good at planning and ending as moving on not ending that sliced life on different sides of events stacked in a line.


Our planning of trips to places afar. Organized with a launch. A beginning. Events along the way. Calculated with time punctuated. Making memories for the day when the trip ends. Then the return. Unpacking and leaving the trip behind. You name the trip but it’s always the same. Norway. Minnesota. Hawaii. Trego. New York. Most recently, Yachats with our famous photoshoot of sunsets on the Oregon coast. The next day, after the end, back to work. What next? The ending, not the beginning. Just another event left behind and stacked up in time.


I’ve long wondered why planning and endings aren’t better replaced as planning and beginnings. Why we slice time into events with planning, knowing the end is sitting there, and not planning what next. Beginnings. After the ending. Not to plan with the end in mind but the next thing in mind. The ‘what next’, now all so poignant for us because we never planned your ending with us in the day and every day. Your death. What next? All caught short and we don’t seem so capable of rolling along.


We’re trying buddy. To take you along with us. Roll on and keep moving, not ending. Not let your ending be an ending, but be with us. A new beginning with you still here.


We love you.


Dad


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