Of all the tasks to be handled after Randy’s death canceling his cell phone yesterday brought me to my knees. He had downloaded a wolf howling as his ring tone and oh how he loved to see the reaction of people hearing it for the first time. His eyes would light up and he would have this smirk on his face – I mean who expects a wolf to be howling in a hospital or grocery store or such? He would be right in his glee!
Randy had an angel tattoo on one shoulder, he said it represented me. On the opposite shoulder he had a tattoo of wolves howling. And on his back on his right shoulder he had a tattoo of the wounded warrior. We both have indigenous ancestors but we were raised very much in a white, privileged culture. Needless to say we both had deep sympathies for our Indigenous sisters and brothers, even though we both had much to learn regarding the challenges First Nations Peoples face.
Randy was never a lone wolf – he loved people and would have long chats with anyone at all who had the time. He definitely was a “pack” kind of person, especially where family was concerned. Over the past few years his energy waned and he no longer could stand for long chatting away. He became a “wounded warrior”, his body battered by a long struggle with heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. Toward the end even his lungs were giving out and he needed an oxygen machine. It was a very slow, agonizing, and painful walk to the western door. I would not wish him back to continue suffering. But I miss him, something awful.
Yet, I know he is at peace and made whole again. The wolf howls no more – instead, he is smiling, perhaps a wolfish smile, at us all.