THE QUEST
11:17 a.m. on September 14, 2005

On that last day, my Mom had 2 requests of my Dad. The first one was: Donít disappear. I think it was her worry that since she would not be here to keep him grounded, he would just float off into outer space and disappear from the family. Her 2nd request was to get my brother a very specific gift for his birthday the next month.

A few days later, my Dad found a business card in his wallet of a place a few hours away that he & my Mom had been to together a few months earlier. It was a special trip for them through the redwoods. They had stopped at a specialty shop in Piercy called The Grandfather Tree. It was there that she had seen the gift that she wanted my brother to have for his birthday. My Dad took this as a sign from beyond kicking his butt to make sure my brother got this gift. My Dad started to panic, as he felt it was too soon for him to go back to this special place, but he wanted to realize my motherís wishes. My sister and I volunteered to go. We needed to go to Laytonville to pick out our motherís headstone anyway, so did not mind tacking on another few hours onto our trip north on highway 101.

It was a nice chance for us sisters to spend some time together and be there for each other, but it was definitely a surreal day with our tasks at hand. First we stopped at Granite Creations to pick out the headstone. The places in town really jacked up their prices, because they were selling for other companies that made the stones, so we went straight to the source, which cut the cost in half. We picked a lovely red stone and then were on our way to the Grandfather Tree.

It was a cute place surrounded by redwoods and offered craft type gifts and nick-knacks.
As soon as we laid eyes on our brothersí gift, we knew he was not going to like it. It was a large red, white and blue pinwheel spinner.

It is a nice outdoor decoration with three wheels that would each spin in different directions when the wind blew. That fact that it was red, white and blue was the problem. My bother was born on the fourth of July. I am sure this is part of what drew my Mother to this as a gift for her son, but he is not patriotic in the slightest & being born on the fourth probably makes him even more defiant. Plus, my brother is a terrible gift receiver. You can search for months and find the exact perfect thing, but he will always have some way of making you feel like you just gave him spit in a jar. If you do not get him anything, that is even worse.

Anyway, we dutifully bought the spinner and brought it home to our father. He wrapped it up and gave it to our brother a few weeks later. I donít think he said anything to our dad, but he expressed his disappointment to me & said he would only put it in his yard annually on his birthday, which he never did.

Probably the most special gift he will ever receive, a deathbed request fulfilled.






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