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Donna's Journal
Paul Jones, May 2, 2005

Here is where I need to be. The new Poplar trees are a variety with extra large leaves and their leaves are fluttering, waving, moving so much like the wave of a queen's hand. Deep purple leaves of the ornamental plums add rich dark color to contrast with the pink azaleas at their feet. The trickle of the water over the rock fountain gives a sound to the quiet landscape. The sharp tall leaves of the Dutch Iris will soon bring a blossom of white delicate blooms and they will look like a poor man's orchid. If I must leave my place for a time to say goodbye to my brother, it isn't what I want to do. Surely though, if others can do it, then I can too.

Are his ashes blowing about over the prairie around his home place? The sixty, some miles from here? I wonder? Are they laughing with some particular observation about their predicament. Would they whisper with his half smile all aglow using the love in his face and eyes to be caught in the breezes over the bending grasses? It would be appropriate after all, wouldn't it?

My brother was shut away from our Dad because of his mother and Dad's divorce. Only now can he throw away the chains of that heartbreak. He was abandoned in so many ways but in other ways the love of his grandparents gave him a tremendous strength. He learned early that his own hand and body would be all that would sustain him. I believe the realities of life were upon him but through fortitude, strength, and character he was able to rise above these to build a family, ranch lands and so much more to a spread of such beauty its way can only make a statement to his genius. How he manipulated the land but still left it free to be its own in a pristine way spoke of his wish to offer respect to higher powers.

It was a mistake for our families to keep secret our brother and sister, status. This hiding of the truth from us only allowed me in my little girl way to fall in love with him from the time we were children. My mother, who would have been his step-mother, sneaked precious moments for the three of us. My little brother, big brother and myself at her hands were given stolen time to play. I can see Paul in my mind while he pushed our younger brother about the yard. Did the toy metal airplane somehow stay in his heart all through the years until he bought his own real machine. The spinning of the blade in front of the small vehicle that was rigged with pedals must have given both boys great visions of what thrills waited for them when they were men. Too soon our quiet little world there beneath the great maple tree and fenced yard was discovered. Who was the one to run to tell about our forbidden play? All those who were living and could tell are now gone and so what is the value in knowing? Just as suddenly as Paul appeared there in our world, he was all at once gone away from us. The makeup of the child's mind allowed us to forget and I hope he did so, as well. However, I believe he was old enough to remember well what was done to us. The gentle ways of my Native American mother who was living during the time of radical groups involved in bigotry must have been led by something of a higher reason coming from her people. She wished to have the boys after their own mother had deserted them but, of course, this was something totally out of the possibilities of life and living. Only today does Mother talk of those things. She praised the grandmother of my brothers who was such a good cook and doted on the boys with a loving concern. Whoever and whatever forces were in control are not important today. And then for anyone who wishes to return to the cruel, ways of the customs of those days, I tell you now, I'm not one of them. Years later, my uncle told me Paul was my brother. All at once, I understood why I had so much love for him. Of course, we love our brothers and sisters, unconditionally.

The very large room where his memorial was held today filled with his friends and neighbors who had enjoyed Paul's story telling. The friend who traveled over with me made the comment. “I've never heard so much laughter at a funeral.” The laughter came from the audience as one or the other who told of some incident in their lives, which was involved with some of Paul's wily ways in dealing with his work and life. He was able to inspire the people around to join him in his quest to build a world that was bigger than life. If he used the materials of the earth around him and only his hands to do this, so much the better. For this reason the speaker spoke of him as “a man of the earth.”

I went into that room late as we have always done in order to give the best seats to others. The reward was that I could see out over the crowd as I stood at the back of the room. This ranching community in attendance was a gift and celebration of my brother's spirit of unconquerable fortitude. Instead of a sad farewell the joyful laughter healed my aching heart and if I stood very still I could see his face blended and mixed in through the crowd. His grin and joking comment while his silhouette stood out of the building and was there against the giant rolling clouds of the prairie might have been, “Aw, I don't know, we wuz down there by the meadow the other day when I looked up in the sky and there was the strangest thing you have ever seen...........

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