My beautiful Daddy Poppi, the man of my world. I adored my father beyond measure. While I was in Sturgis due diligently interviewing for the Miss Sturgis contest, I went to the mountain, Bear Butte, to find peace, and to be with my Daddy Poppi in spirit. To leave a prayer tie for him to let him know how GOLD he is to me. Pure. Precious.
My friends and family, I am crushed to lose my friend and father. Now more than ever I'd love to just crawl into his lap and feel his beautiful father energy just sooth my soul. I know he's transferred to spirit form and it was his time to be rescued from the ravages of Leukemia that took his strapping Irish build down to my weight and stature....tiny. I traveled with the bandana that I wore on my head, the day and evening he passed. That bandana which he caressed in his frail hands and looked deep into my eyes to let me know how much he loved his wild child, before he departed.
I couldn't bear to see my Daddy Poppi in a coffin, so didn't go to the memorial. I sat quietly in my home and on the banks of the river. To see a disintegrated body laying in a wooden box would have been a nightmare for me. The only place I could make sense of this was at home visualizing his spirit surrounding me.
The comforts of my Nashville home was a place I didn't want to leave to make that journey to Sturgis. But I was loyal...loyal to my entry into that silly contest that turned out to be weird. Dedicated to those who supported my entry and the goal of being a strong ambassador for Sturgis Rally and the sponsors, girls who ride, everything awesome about our rider lifestyle. My Daddy Poppi was happy about my trying for a contest like this. It took a long time for me to hit "submitt" on that entry form. I'd never done anything like it before. It was a goal to be a breakthrough I guess, as a real girl rider and true participant of the rally lifestyle, especially since Sturgis is my very favorite. Sort of like the way the Dove commercials feature real girls instead of models. After all, that's what the Sturgis Bike Week people kept bringing up to me during the contest process, how they would like to see more real female riders enter the contest.
I kept that photo shown above of my Daddy Poppi that I took and placed in the passenger seat. I cried and held that photo the whole time. I went through all kinds of weather, snow, sleet, driving rain....to get to Sturgis. I felt protected with my photo of my father clutched against me. I spoke to God and my earth father quite a bit. I don't think I realize the full impact yet...it seems like I can just pick up the phone and call Daddy Poppi. Not so. See how the photo is cradled into the rock? That's of one of my favorite stops along the Bear Butte trail. I recommend that you hug that rock and pray about whatever comes to your heart. The rock is warm and solid. so when you feel like you may have a chill from the darkness of the world, you can feel the warmth and be enlightened. Bear Butte is not about going for an exercise climb, like one local had mentioned she loves to do....I was hoping she'd follow her motive with, and to stand atop the mountain, is to be held in the arms high, by the essence of mother earth and you are her child and she is showing her child to the world and letting the world know that you belong to her; You are a child of mother earth and father sky. The perfect location to give thanks and receive spiritual direction.
God turns strange journeys into opportunities for divine intervention. Someday, you'll know all the details. I ended up driving to Denver after the Sturgis Bike Week committee meeting to see my aunt, my father's sister. She didn't get a chance to say goodbye. We sat and looked at photos. I didn't cry....because I knew if I let one tear fall, I was done fer. I'd be totally inconsolable because I hadn't gotten to that deep cry. It was important to be strong for her. I feel it close by...it's right here with me...the tears. That deep soulful movement. I'm trying to keep control over it. I don't know for how long I can hold back the onslaught of tears I need to have... I had a bit of it after he took his last breath, I'll tell you that. I sat in my car and screamed. I drove aimlessly around Dover, DE sobbing. Then I just drove and drove and drove, thinking I'd go to Bear Butte to climb the mountain and collapse onto Mother Earth and just stay there awhile talking to God and trying to find my Daddy Poppi up there in the wind. I'd then fulfill my obligations and have that meeting while I was there. Holy Cow. I made it to LaSalle, Illinois and there was one of my very best friends, Skip, waiting for me. He took me into his home, I slept there for the night. I was in no shape for any meeting whatsoever. I was in no shape to be alone in the car driving...I needed the comfort of my sweet Tennessee homestead and all my friends and family. Then I headed South to be home, with my kitties and poodles and Patrick and my friends. I pulled into the driveway of my home and sobbed. Patrick took me into his arms and we went down to the river bank and mourned our Daddy Poppi.
On the riverbank, we found the funniest piece of drift wood that looked like a silly characature of a snail laughing. I knew Daddy Poppi put it there for Pat and I to see. He was always carving and using driftwood for his works of wood art. In fact, there were many signs that Daddy Poppi was with me. That's for sure.
I faithfully climbed back into the cadillac and made my way to Sturgis three days later, with the heavy heart. But I did it, just like a windsister would do for her windbrothers and windsisters that she loves so very dearly, follow through with the mission that would benefit our beautiful and amazing motorcycle culture and rally. I'm sorry that I did not ultimately be that ambassador for us, our love of riding, and our deep passion for the rally.
Whew. I need to be alone now, all week. I won't be writing on this blog for the week dear ones. After having traveled all that long journey, which probably was used by the Lord as a healing grace considering Daddy Poppi was also a wanderlust and loved to drive endlessly, I'm going to rest, go to the gym which I have neglected for awhile with all the stuff going on, and work on the copyedit for my new book Chrome Cowgirl which needs a great deal of careful attention.
Thanks to all my friends and family, windbrothers and windsisters for your love and encouragement. You're precious and you make the world reasonable to understand. Your love is a healing grace.