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| Joe Charlebois | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Norman M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Edward Lulie III | Tom McLaughlin | Patricia Price | Cindy A. Rose | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Brooke Winn |

DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


July 18, 2012

Gifts Beyond Compare

Tom McLaughlin

Kuching, Malaysian Borneo – William Wordsworth’s thoughts, written more than 200 years ago in his narrative poem “Michael, came to mind the other day when exciting news penetrated by addling brain.

 

"A child, more than all other gifts

That earth can offer to declining man,

Brings hope with it, and forward-looking thoughts."

 

I am going to be a grandfather. My 16-month-old son will be an uncle. I never thought, even in my wildest alcohol or drug-induced imagination of my hippie days, that my daughter and I will have a child close to the same age.

 

I am so hideously happy that I am going to be a grandfather. I am already looking at flights for next May. I figured I will give the new mom and dad two months to settle in. I am so bursting with pride. “I’m on top of the world looking down on creation” as the Carpenters’ hit song goes.

 

I figure my grandchild and son Dzul will be best buds. One can teach about riding and roping in Montana while the others will instruct on the wonders of Borneo. Yes, gifts beyond compare bestowed by a loving God.

 

That earth can offer to declining man…

 

Before Dzul was born, I thought Suriani and I would travel, visit places unknown, trek the jungle and take life easy, blissfully settling into old age, wandering the streets of Kuching in an Alzheimer state, smiling at everyone. My plans were to decline gracefully.

 

Now I chase a naked Dzul around the condo with a diaper, try to feed him and sing him to sleep. Truthfully, my wife does most of that, but I do pitch in and help.

 

I talk to him. He will babble something, and I will answer with something like “Is that right?” We talk about the upcoming American elections. He makes more sense than all others put together. We get along fine. Yes, I have stopped declining, never thought I ever started, but, maybe I did.

 

Brings hope with it and forward looking thoughts…

 

I have watched the middle class decay under the Bush Administration to the point many people do not qualify as a member any longer. The Rockefeller Republicans were defeated by the Goldwater-types, where love of country was replaced by love of self, greed and ideology.

 

The banking system collapsed, healthcare became a shambles and the middle class retrenched. My hope for my children will be a return to the Republican Party those moderates who once again will place the interest of the country first.

 

Yes, I am a Democrat; but we do need a two party system so different ideas of America can be discussed. Then the very best ideas can be enacted into law.

 

Instead my previous idea of sliding into the sunset, a doddering old white guy among the wonderful Sarawakian people, I am now planning my trip to Montana to see my grandson, trying to figure out home schooling for Dzul, and still trying to see those Komodo Dragons I have been talking about for the past four years.

\

I do reflect on my life occasionally, sinking into the past; but a little guy comes along with a small book and asks me to read to him. Soon, God will send another to join him.

 

…Life is good. . . . .

 



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