This is the week before, to the day, we celebrate my father’s life. My brother, after reading my first pass at the obituary which quickly cut to the chase of his unique qualities and eccentric character traits he would want included as those are the details of a good ‘yarn,’ and if nothing else, my father Barry Q. Walker was a fabulous teller of tales and spinner of fables, a lover of the hairy dog joke format (and a pechant for recalling the details with medical school board oral exam style) and appreciator of storytelling of all kinds and from all cultures. This I must have learned from him, the doctor, zoologist, feather painting virtuoso, animal whisperer, had to euthanize all the Hawks at the end when he and my mother parted ways, not so amicably but what is a life if not lessons learned and a making the best of the messes you find yourself in and turning those you create into, well, a wild life. In the sense of in the wilds where you can still hear quiet you can chase a butterfly and grab a knowledge of the world that NO ONE else will ever have.
You were one of a kind, Dad. I can’t tell the world how much I appreciate and value your esprit du corps I think that’s what I mean to say when I try to explain how fully inside life you were. No wasted moments. You taught us all so much to pay attention to. That’s it, isn’t it? Pay attention. Notice. Do the thing most right by human inkling and that involves passing down truths and knowledge and values and how we treat one another is what continues on.