My father’s anniversary. William Douglas Wayland, only 54, nearly 55. Such a long seige of cancer surprising such a young man. It was, I’m now realizing, so terrible for us, who have now lost our sister and have a brother languishing in a nursing home, the very brother who came out of the house as I was clipping the hedges and said, “I think we’ve had it. They can’t find a pulse.”
It was the day after my triumph, a speech, a big speech. Dad never knew about that, me in front of 2000 people 69 years ago.
This day, this May 30th, a Tuesday, is waning. That was a Friday.
I’ve talked to Doug and Ron today. I’ve been told Bill saw a priest for communion. I saw to that. I’m so glad.
Family thoughts and all manner of thoughts going through my head.
I gave my speech in front of all the city, state and national dignitaries and with the assassinated President’s mother at my elbow as I spoke. Had his tragic death not occurred that November day in Dallas, there would have been no occasion for this speech, and so much in the world might have been different.
But it was, it did happen. I’ve wasted 42 years of my life drifting in a quasi-world of non-marriage marriage, of dissipation, of wasted talent. I’m 76 and can’t quite fathom that. Frozen in life, that must change. No pity, self or otherwise.
The following noon, 24 hours later, the bells were ringing at noon at the Mission Church down the hill from the hospital. My mother heard it. He went to God at noon. So much to think about.
That still, small voice, we must hear it, and those bells.
Dad, we are thinking of you. I’ve thought of you all this mostly idle day of my seventies.
It is 10:34 p.m. in Florida.
You were never here, Dad. But — you are here now….