On September 15th, my co-worker and I locked the doors at Lane county's one and only crisis program, and walked out the back door. It was a sad moment. More than six-hundred people in mental health crisis will now have no where to go. Inevitably they will end up on the street, and many will make use of emergency services at a cost ten times higher than the daily rate at this program. Just as we walked away from the building, a smiley faced helium baloon got away from my co-worker and floated above the building. Somehow God works in mysterious ways, and the only conclusion I can draw is that it will somehow be okay.
So now I'm looking for work, drawing unemployment, signing up for Medicare and VA benefits and most importantly stepping on to the last path of my life, a path of my own choosing. The first important step is this website and blog. On this website I hope to share my experience in learning to live my life with grace and dignity; to share with others a means of discovering our core values as a lighthouse for finding our way back when we are lost in the maelstrom of life's suffering.
On the last day of work, I offered my services to the VA. I was told by the person who answered the phone that they are pretty good at that, and that they didn't need me even as a volunteer. I called his attention to a recent statistic that suggests that 22 vets a day kill themselves in this country that has been at war for most of this century. Nobody is good at this.
I also seem to have time to meditate. A notable Buddhist died recently. My wife and I are offering her 49 days of prayer and meditation.
I also seem to have many more hours for riding my bike. I don't know if I am training. I don't know if there is a goal. I am going to be 68 in April, and yet I feel as if there is one more big ride in me.
This path. It is clear that there are limits. I may have worked my last day. Any way that you look at it, this is all very different.