Our Joys and Our Tears
Her service is this afternoon. I suspect that I will say something like this.
"Thank you all for coming.
Alexis Hope Osborne came into this world on October 5th, 1976.
She was Cesarean born at St David’s hospital.
I remember well that day.
I waited outside in what was then a pretty nice garden. It’s a parking garage today. I was nervous and teary. Nervous for Dee, nervous for the baby. Solomon was at Lydia’s house on Ave B. I was so relieved to find that everything was fine. Dee and I were in our mid twenties, and we lived in a little white house east of Elgin that had just recently been home to our landlord's goats. Our rent was 85.00 a month.
After I fixed the place up, adding a porch, and building a hippy fence of Johnson Grass around it, the landlord raised the rent to over a hundred.
"The place looks nicer now", he said. He was right.
Soon we moved to the Tingle House on Highway 95, which most of us called Dead Dog Road, and for good reason.
It was there that Hope grew. It was there that we met our Friends and our new family, the Owens, the Rivers, the Bogarts, the Dildy’s, and so many others... many who are here today.
On my 55th birthday, Hope gave me a book that she had written.
In it she states on the first page,
“I skipped the third grade. I was an honor student. UIL cheerleader, volley ball, and basketball. I was a starter on every team I played on. “A” Team everything I had a star football player boyfriend, threw the crunkest off the hook, jamming, place to be parties.” (like father like daughter)
Hope spent some time in Portland where she met one of her best friends ever Chantelle. Then, she moved to LA where she worked as a DJ on a all- night radio show. It was there in Culver City that she started Fresh Beats, her record store. And it was there that she decided she wanted to record music.
She came back to Elgin to build her recording studio and to raise her son Alexander Deems.
During these last few months, when we knew that Hope’s walk on the earth was finishing, we started recording music together. I gave Lex my trusty upright piano of 10 years, and we moved it out to the studios here in Elgin.
One night, only about a month ago, after about 19 takes, I finally got the love song I had been working on. When I finished it, I heard Hope say over the headphones,
“Jeezus Dad, you got me freaking bawling in here.” (that’s a generous church translation, Reverand)
Hope quickly did a little production work on it and burned the CD for me to listen to as I drove back to Austin. Despite the fact that my piano playing sucks, and I sing flat, she managed this.
I don’t know if Hope ever dropped her shield.
But she did have something that is often referred to as the most important trait we can have as humans.
Hope had more courage than most of us, and probably that abundance of courage left her short in some other areas.
Hope faced her destiny as bravely as any soldier on any field, anywhere, has ever faced the enemy.
I no longer can say that I cannot feel the loss of those who have lost their sons and daughters to the useless slaughter of war.
Hope’s war with herself and those around her was brutal and heart wrenching.
A couple of Thanksgivings ago, while in the cool of the mountains in my mountain retreat in Real de Catorce, I stood with others on the side of a mountain overlooking the great Altiplano as we buried a small child who had drowned on Thanksgiving Day,
A well dressed Huichole Shaman spoke in a clear voice in a language that most of us could only understand in the spirit.
He said that the death of the child was not tragic, that it was not the result of a terrible accident. No, he said that this WAS the life of this child as it was meant to be. This was his life.
Just as the time that Hope walked with us on this earth
was her life.
And that life and its passing,
With all of its imperfections,
was the life
That we were given,
A life most worthy
of all of our love, our respect,
Labels: personal philosophy