Moon Musings

I just pulled into the hotel in Leavenworth, Washington after a long drive down to California to attend Ralph Kunkee’s memorial service at UC Davis.  It was a 16-hour straight shot drive down, 33 hours in Davis, then 13 hours back up to Leavenworth for the night.

Ralph’s celebration of life was packed with so many wonderful moments.  Hilarious stories by everyone and a few tears.  One of the more poignant stories heard yesterday came from his doctor who was with him at the end of his life in hospice.  On one of Ralph’s last nights alive, when he knew there was not much time left, there was a full moon outside his window.  The doctor explained how he had moved Ralph’s bed close to the window so that he could better see the full moon.

It struck me how beautiful Ralph must have looked in the light of the full moon that night, alone in his room.  I tried to imagine what would have gone through his mind that night, seeing that moon.  How special it must have been.

When I left the Sacramento Valley at 4AM this morning it was dark and flat and as I drove north on Highway 5, one of the fullest, brightest-orange moons I had ever seen in my lifetime was setting in the west.

…and all I could think about was Ralph looking at that same moon two months ago, through his bedroom  window.

Thirteen hours later I dropped down from the Cascade mountains into Leavenworth Washington and there again was the same huge, orange, full moon, except this time it was rising in my eastern view.

…and I thought: how is it that I am lucky enough to have two moons today when Ralph will have none?

About Sandra Oldfield

You can find out a bit more about me through the "About Me" page at the top of my blog.
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7 Responses to Moon Musings

  1. What an amazing and moving story. I feel honored that you chose to share such a wonderful experience from such a sorrowful time. Perhaps this is his way of saying ‘I’m gone but never far away’.

  2. Gillian says:

    Thank you for sharing this. How blessed we are indeed.

  3. Mary Martin says:

    Sandra,
    Thank you for your wonderful comments on our friend Ralph Kunkee. I reread them often to feel his presence. Ralph and I arrived at UCDavis within months of each other and became non professional great friends at that time. I later went into retail sales of wine and that became another important part of our friendship. He came to Yakima and celebrated his 60th birthday with us. The next morning he was bright and well but we took a while to recover. A mutual friend went to his memorial service and remarked on a winemaker who had driven a long distance to speak at the service and also the hospice doctor and then I went into your blog knowing it was you and you had this beautiful remark about the moon and Ralph. Okay, more tears but lots of smiles too.

    • Perhaps someday we will meet too. Are you still in Yakima? I may be heading down that way (Tri Cities) in early February.

      • kelyn says:

        Félicitations Ralph et auusi à toute cette damnyique équipe qui s’évertue chaque jour à faire un diagnostic en profondeur des problèmes que recèlent notre société, quite à tout un chacun d’apporter sa quote-part au renouveau dont nous souhaitons. Je crois qu’on a trop longtemps questionné l’action des autres dans nos malheurs et soubressauts collectifs. Il faut quand même que quelqu’un agisse, s’ils le font et à leur manière, c’est à nous de changer la donne et non pas à perdurer le statu quo par nos plaintes et lamentations sans tenants ni aboutissants.Nous sommes à un carrefour important et décisif de notre histoire et qu’est-ce qu’on en a fait jusqu’à présent, condamner les étrangers, tirer à boulets rouges sur de soi disant dirigeants, qui dirigent quoi, va savoir! Cette année est décrétée année de la jeunesse, faisons en sorte de créer un pays jeune.En effet, la crise est une occasion propice pour faire un face à face avec nous même, une occasion difficile mais auusi formidable pour Oser! surmonter nos barrières. Jeunes d’Haïti, jeunes Haïtiens ressaisissons-nous et engageons la lutte pour cette Autre Haïti dont on a trop rêvé. La société depuis tantôt quelques années jettent ses cellules mortes à tous les niveaux et enclenchent un processus d’auto-régénération, alors, armons nous pour en être à la hauteur. Continuons à nous construire afin de construire une meilleur société, où les uns et les autres seront à l’abri des déterminismes sociaux et où la mobilité sociale ne suivra pas la pente descendante pour la majorité des enfants de cette terre.A ceux-là qui pensent s’offrir notre dynamisme à coup d’aide humanitaire, rappelons que, aux dires de l’illuste Dr King Jr: ” La charité ne consiste pas à donner un morceau de pain au mandiant, mais il conduit à penser qu’un édifice qui produit des mendiant à besoin d’être remodelé.”Je m’engage à reconstruire Haïti, et vous!

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