That’s You That’s ME:
Wanted to follow this up from Religion and Science the greatest question for all of us on the Blue Dot suspended in a sunbeam. Where do we go when we die? I used Albert Einstein’s writings along with Dr. Carl Sagan’s video Symphony of Science as a blend. Two great minds but different views as all of us but makes for a great mix don’t you think? So here we are again with a great mind Dr. Carl Sagan The Pale Blue Dot “You and ME.” Nothing I myself enjoy from this world is the feeling you get from experiences like this film.
With that the two most basic tools we have as human beings is thought and feelings. Whereas the mind cannot think what your heart or soul feels and the heart or soul cannot feel what your mind thinks, hmm. Now that’s pretty deep but as we go through life it opens many doors that you might not have gone through that you did not think about or feel to go through. The thing about this of my own experience and I’m just sharing this so don’t think I’m shoving something down your throat. When my father died I was devastated from his death for Al Brewer (my father) took his own life that was hard to write just because I feel it so, where it almost never left me alone (my own dilemma) because I could never accept Al’s death. I had help with that last phrase and I’ll explain. After his death, I hunted under ever rock leaf and tree for an answer and always came up short for I thought I’ll figure this out how dumb I was, for it went beyond the capacity of my mind.
I don’t blame my father for my dilemma but I was sure empty with a sadden heart and sick mind from the act. I can remember going to bed with him on my mind and waking up with the first thought of him once again on my mind. Wish I could have taking my brain from my head and put it on the night stand to leave me alone to get some sleep. (monsters of the id) After battling with this thought I had to try something new to keep from being drawn in too deep. I found if you keep upstairs busy it leaves you alone for the mind can only take so many things at one time and with the thought of my father, it was a question my mind could not figure out I needed an answer.
I got myself involved in many new directions from this problem for which I’m grateful today and would not change one moment. First I became a pilot for my dad did not get the chance to finish flight school. I can remember a time climbing over 14000 ft putting my hand on the cockpit windshield and saying Pa this is as close as I can get to you and I have to go back for the plane could not fly any higher. It seemed as time stood still as the plane stalled with full power on with a slightly nose high attitude and she started falling backward, bye Pa. Still left with the dilemma what happen to you?
Next achieved a United States patent for Pa was a drafting engineer and he too had a patent like father like son but oh shit not the last exit for me that haunted me like father like son. Flying didn’t do it fun of course but still empty in my heart. The patent was good but my mind kept pulling at me for this man was my best friend and I missed him so. Where do you go for answers when the greatest adviser of your life takes a final exit? I did not know.
OK this is getting old and it did in all of 27 years till I finally got an answer but were far from that yet at this point and time. April 28th, 1983 my father was found on the east bank of the Fox River ½ mile N.W. of the Day Paint Co. on Day Lane Carpentersville IL. The Coroner’s report reads “25 Cal. Gunshot wound to the Head and Brain” (The Mind) a pistol I bought for my dad, well no wonder it’s on my mind.
Moving along the next journey of this quest of a Lewis and Clark expedition of what happen to you Al? I move into the light of the Great Outdoors. I’m sure to find peace here on my father’s side of the family is Mohawk and Menominee Indian, my grandmother was born on the Reservation. For generations, the family has been fishing the Wolf River for the White Bass run every May and it continues to this day. The White Bass run on the Wolf is the largest on the Pale Blue Dot and I found much peace here but no answer. Even went on a pilgrimage up to the Reservation with my Aunt Elaine (Pa’s sister) Father Brunette, Jane and Chris (cousins) knowing for sure this time I would hear my dad standing on the fatherland from where it all began. As we entered the Reservation I said Father there’s the casino he replied later son were going to church first. I had to laugh for I did not mean for us to turn into the parking lot at that time.
When we arrived at the church Father Brunette ask me to go inside and find out when the next mass is being held. So I go inside find out come back to the car and I could not believe his timing for arrival. In 10 min. Father, he replies ah good. After church now for me to get close to the spirit of my dad for I’m not hearing it in the house of the Lord. (please heal my sick mind and sadden heart) It’s like the movie Polar Express where the boy can’t hear the ringing of the Christmas Bells. Now I’m at the mouth of the Wolf River for me this is the most sacred place I could imagine on The Pale Blue Dot where I’m going to hear my dad. I stood before the landscape and call out Pa I’m here please speak to me I waited, one more time Pa!!!! All I heard were the frogs and crickets. All I could think of was I spoke to the wind and it did not hear me. Ah crap, nothing, stood there for a while and turned away but as I walked I looked over my shoulder because I was so certain this was the place I needed to be. As it ended up was just a great time spent with family, glad I came but my heart empty and my mind searching.
During this time I took on the challenge of a hairy ass biscuit head. A dog to raise for hunting Pheasants’, Ducks and Quail for when Pa would take me out hunting we never had a dog maybe I’ll find it here. Matt was my first hunting dog a Golden Retriever I spent 3 yrs. training him on my own from several books of upland hunting and waterfowl for most men use two different types of dogs for these hunts. I can remember a time at Green River in White Side County IL., were going to hunt some Pheasants. A fellow next to me and this guy looked like he just walked out of Cabela’s and asked me if I was going to hunt that Golden? For there’s snow on the ground today and it’s probably going to be tough for him for if your hunting Pheasants you need dogs like mine championship labs, no one here uses Golden’s to hunt! (He had two beautiful Black Labs) I simply answered that’s why were here.
This was not Matt’s first time out for in the beginning he caught his fist bird on his own and brought it back to me. I can remember my buddy Tony saying through the bird into the air and I’ll shot it I said what if you miss! That’s Matt’s first bird, he goes come on Pauly. (nickname he gave me) I said no for I was so proud of Matt. So from the ranger station, we start out and Mr. Cabela tells me good luck. I replied luck is not a factor sir you should have seen the look I got. Matt and I walk out to area 12. I like this part of the field because it’s tough to hunt. 10 min. into the field Mattie pushes up a bird I tag it here comes the retrieve one down the limit is two. At this point were walking the tall pines the scenery up here is beautiful. I love this field and the companion I’m with I’m starting to feel peace in my soul. I only wished that Al was here to see my boy work. For in my life Matt will be the Best Hunting Dog I ever trained. His accomplishments were many from 100 yd retrieves to diving down on Ducks so as not to lose a bird that will lock on undergrowth on the bottom and giving me the pinnacle of my life, which will be pushing a field for Pheasants with a dog and good friends. All of a sudden here comes two running Black Labs and I can hear a guy blowing a whistle about 70 yds out. I tell Matt to sit down and these two nuts run around some underbrush come flying over to Matt and me and all this time you hear the whistle blowing from the owner. The two Labs go tearing off like the field was on fire. So now here comes the owner and all the time Matt is sitting like a soldier. Well now guess who it is? Mr. Cabela (you knew that was coming) he calls out to me hey it’s you, did you see my dogs? Yes sir, they went that a way about 70 yds in front of you. All he said is “shit” then looks down at Matt and ask so how is your boy doing? I pat the game bag on my vest and say we got one 10 mins into the field almost done. He looks down at Matt again and said he’s a pretty good dog, isn’t he? I reply sir he is the best. He smiled and said I believe you and walked off blowing the whistle and calling out for the two runaways.
I let him get some distance from Matt and me for I knew since Mr. Cabela was in front of me (he started at the back-end of area 12) from where Matt was working his dogs were running birds on the ground. I look at Matt pointed over to the underbrush where the other two ran over and boom Mattie kicks up a bird. I tag it and here comes the last retrieve of the day then I hear Mr. Cabela call out. “What was that?” I called back your bird sir and my limit. Once again “ah! Shit!”, Come on Matt.
Not only would Matt be my best hunting dog and companion he also saved my life. I’m still not well with the thought of Al. I can’t find a way around it I feel I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I’m at my lowest level no way out talked to God time and time again did what I could do to push through I’m not hearing it or feeling it. My head is lying on my desk at home the tears are rolling down my face pooling onto the desk. That’s it I’ve had enough can’t take any more of my mind this shit is killing me. I’m going to end it like father like son the hell with it. How is it that we arrive at a time where in order to cure a problem we have to destroy our self to cure the problem. Wow is that what Pa felt? Maybe who knows but the mind would rather have you be dead than it being wrong. This I knew so time to go! So I got up from the desk drew a line on the wall chart and marked a place over Lake Michigan to fly the plane and pull the power figured I’d be dramatic about the whole fucking thing. What a way to go.
I’m putting my gear bag together for my last flight and all of a sudden Mattie comes around the corner of my office at home. I look at him and say ah buddy who’s going to take care of you? I fell to my knees holding the dog bawling like a baby. (mental break down) It’s at this point of depression the person can’t take anymore and two things rush in, the mother of addiction or the father of suicide. Addiction will pollute the mind so you’re numb of the problem and with suicide, you can leave the problem, either way, is not good. I’ve found if it’s not going to kill you wait until tomorrow you might see things in a different light. After getting up off the floor and padding Matt on the head I realized while thinking of my selfish act I did not even think of him for a moment. How could that be? I thought of Pa, was he caught in the same tail spin? For he walked for 5 miles to get to his destination a neighbor even said that Al waved to me as he was walking, not knowing that it would be his last. The neighbor was spooked after finding out what happen that day.
Matt died a year later after saving me and I knew that boy was sent to me in my life to carry me through to push on for it was not my time to go. Back to that question where do we go? I can’t say for sure. Some would say my father is in Hell for taking his life others have told me he can be forgiven and for me, I feel my old man all the time in the many things I do. What I do know is a close friend of mine who was once my wife as we were lying in bed and I was sobering about Al. She said I need to tell you something about your father and God is telling me to say this to you. At that point, my ears are about the size of Dumbo the elephant I’m like what? She told me this. “You have never accepted your father’s death why?” Well, know that was the million dollar question I never came up with. I went through 4 homes two other dogs Dutch and Buck who is sleeping on the couch downstairs as I write this and my wife at the time lying next to me to arrive at this point, the answer was no I’ve not accepted his death. All others of the family including my Mother but not Al, why? She simply said and this is not from me. “Mark, it was your Fathers time to go you need to accept that for now and forever.”
I could write a book on this along with the biscuit heads in my life but that would be another story. This subject of life is my favorite one. Where do we go? For myself that I’m sharing here with you I can only say “be still and listen to what in life is calling.” That is an old Indian spirit saying and through my experience of life it is true, you cannot think these things, it comes to you when you have no place to turn and you feel it then you believe it. Like the time on the reservation spoke to the wind but the wind did not hear me. Ah, it was a while after that I was running Dutch in a field and sitting under a pine tree on a log. Once again the tears rolling down the face thinking of Al and I’ll tell you something that stuff creeps up from nowhere you’re not even thinking it and boom there it is. I asked, please God heal my sick mind and sadden heart but it was at that point I looked up for I felt something above me. I stood up looked over the top of the tall pine and to me, it seemed to be like an antenna a means to communicate. I couldn’t hear anything but felt it, so I hugged the tree, I even kissed the bugger. When I pulled away I had sap from my head to toe and just started laughing and crying at the same time. So instead of being empty next time talking to the wind, here you go. I spoke to the wind and the wind did not hear me, so I hugged the tree.
I was nearing my destination this theme of life for you know something? When we die everything is going to fall away from our arms. What you’re left with is your mind and soul, what did you do to help anything or anyone along the way. Did you love? Were you loved? For the dead remain alive in the ones who loved them.
Coming Back to Life
Couple of songs here that reminds me of my Father and keeps the memories strong. If it was not for the lessons here I would know less of life than before. The experience gave me the opportunity to explore.
Thanks Pa, I love you,
Wish You Were There
Wow, Pa, you never got to fly with me and you were the one that took me up. You never got the chance to hunt with one of my pups and you took me out. I will always miss this for you and me, wish you could have been there.
See ya Pa, R.I.P.