Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ruthie On The Road, Update--Part Five

After Troy left, I waited for the bus to come. Washington State has
a series of buses (of various sizes and models) that ramble all over
the State, for a very cheap price. I decided to take several of them, through
the cold rain, to the small town of Raymond, Washington.

Raymond is more like an outpost. It used to be a very thriving
community and then the logging business began to fizzle and so did
several other businesses. Jobs dried-up, stores closed and people
moved away.

Now, many of the people, who still live in Raymond, are elderly
and most of the children, who are there, are Asian.

Raymond is quiet and it features a funky, little motel where I
like to rent an upstairs room and hide. The room features a tub,
a comfy bed and all the peace that I could possibly want. Yeehaw

So, I decided to go there.

But before I got to Raymond, I met a man who is a professional
clam digger. He boarded the bus, in stages, loading
the gear that he had with him...one piece at a time. He had clam
buckets, clamming boots, what looked like a pair of waterproof
coveralls, food, soda and an odd kind of shovel.

After he finally got everything onto the bus, he sat down on a
seat with a sigh.

I smiled at him. He smiled back.

Then we started a conversation. He told me that he has been
clamming for years...taking from the ocean...during a low-tide,
pound after pound of the razer delights. Sometimes, when he
is lucky, he gathers over $400.00 worth of clams in just a few
hours.

But he misses his brother, who taught him how to collect clams,
years ago. Recently, his brother died, after a long illness. My
bus-mate, the clam digger, told me that he cared for his brother,
right on up to the end of his older sibling's life.

But as the end grew near, the sick brother grew hateful and began
to lash-out at his healthy brother. My buddy, the surviving
clam digger, told me that he regretted arguing with his brother
and he couldn't understand why his older brother suddenly
stopped loving him.

"If you don't mind my saying so" I interjected, "It doesn't sound
like your brother hated you, at all. In fact, I bet it was quite the
opposite."

"Your brother started arguing with you because he knew how
difficult and traumatic that his death was going to be to you."

The clam digger nodded his head and said,"Yeah, it was really
tough on me when he died. It still is."

"Well, I think that the reason that your brother started in on you
like he did was in an effort to make you stronger and more
able to cope with his inevitable passing. His behavior was an
act of love, not hate."

The clam digger looked stunned. He sat in silence for a
moment and then tears filled his eyes and he smiled.

"Oh my gosh, I never thought of it, that way. Now, it all makes
sense. He wanted me to get strong so I could let him go."

The clam digger put his face in his hands and his shoulders
shook.

Then he looked up at me, as tears poured down his cheeks,
and he said,"All of this time, I thought that I somehow let my
brother down. Now I know that I didn't."

"Thank you, Lady" he added, with a trembling smile, "You
don't know what you did for me, today."

I smiled back at him and said, "Have a great day in the clam
beds. And know that your brother will walk with you."

Amen.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

That my dear, was simply beautiful! Thank you for your insight & sharring such a touching story. ♡♥♡

Anonymous said...

You need to add another reaction box. "Love it!"