I am feeling a bit weary today. I feel a bit weary most days. Honestly, I require a certain infrastructure of life which I do not have here and now to ever live free of weariness. In addition I am aging and at 46 I think there is some sense of having hit the top of the hill of human energy and heading back down again. Yesterday I served as a pallbearer and as a lector at the funeral of my uncle William Charles Summers. For me weariness was part of the whole experience of Will’s last years. I felt some sadness and unease mentioning this because his marriage to his widow Brenda and his relationship with the stepdaughters he cherished — Jennifer and Kayler occurred during these weary years mostly. I do not want to make it seem like the man who worked their farm, hunted alligators, saddle broke horses, coached basketball, drove them on vacations and lived as their husband and father was some old weary guy. But honestly I never saw him since the year 20oo for any length of time when he did not communicate his weariness to me in some way. That was ten years ago and he only married Brenda eleven years or so ago. But for all he did in those years his energy was a small and frail thing compared to the vast fountains of energy I knew in his youth. Will was almost 55 when he died and I am almost 46 now and I can relate to his sense of weariness. That weariness inspires me to write this blog post.
Will found a new life with Brenda and her children. he had a working farm and was a friend of the husband Brenda had just buried before he took a different interest over coming years in the widow he was helping. But in a quiet way he was near despair. He already had several physical ailments and an active life had left him burdened with varied old injuries. His religious journey and relationships with women including one named Jackie and another named Lisa and a few others I choose not to name at all had all come to a place that had left him for short of satisfied. He had helped his sister who was raising a child alone to help rear her daughter in different ways for several years. That had gone the way such sibling volunteer fathering often goes in our society. He had kept close bonds with sister and niece but new walls and borders had grown up between them as the years passed.
Will had sailed some rough seas and backed away from a lifelong love affair with sailboats. The hard-drinking, sharpshooting, world-traveling, mysterious side of Will that existed on the fringes (at best) of the legal world in several countries and could help play music in a bar of questionable reputation or move packages of obscure origin or help women get around whose movements some might want to limit could be a dangerous and angry man. He had mellowed. Maybe more than I have mellowed at a similar age now that he had reached then. Will and I always had things in common and also were very different. We also had lots of things in common. Partly, we found some grace in people we cared about to temper other aspects of our personalities.
There is a cycle in all lives but perhaps in ours more than most. I will no longer be able to look over a few miles away to see my uncle’s struggle between despair and hope and compare it to my own. I will not have the chance to compare notes on the spiritual struggles we shared in common. I hope, yes I feel some hope that he both rests in peace and is well-remembered.
To see Will and not violate copyright laws: http://www.meaningfulfunerals.net/fh/obituaries/vt_view.cfm?o_id=666635&fh_id=11197&s_id=7DC1F0D026E57519378C8C9000056A1B&vt_type=1