I have blogged that I visited with my Uncle Gheen and Cousin Chris in Tigard, Portland and Neahkawnie Beach but I have yet to mention my cousin Randy. Not an oversight, it is just that Randy needs an entry dedicated to Randy.
Since my Road Trip is a Quest of sorts, a Huh-Hell-Paying-Attention disconnection from my otherwise tightly connected current lifestyle, I am taking some time to muse about the random contacts that occur and the interconnectedness of it all. I write "It's all about ME!" and I am joking around, but in so many ways, this quest IS all about me and where I fit in - to the moment, to my road trip, to my family - it has been good. It is my study of contentment, and what that word means to each of us.
So it was very good to watch Cousin Randy share the delight of his "Inner Child" with all of us over the 4th of July holiday. He LOVES pyrotechnics, has made a lifelong avocation of experimenting with acetylene, a welding gas, with occasional dire consequences. This weekend, though, he was gleeful to share a milder, controlled display of his hobby in the form of homemade fireworks that he called a pinwheel. I captured one of his trials in the video attached.
I remember my cousin Randy as a little kid. He was very different then, as now. I am 4 or 5 years older than him, and the first memories I have of him as a toddler was his inability to communicate. He was mute and disconnected. There were no labels then that described his peculiarity, as there exist today. He just didn't talk. His folks eventually sent him to a school for the deaf, where he learned to sign a little bit, but he wasn't deaf.
Then his little brother was born. Chris was a baby dynamo, physically running circles around his disconnected brother and talking virtual circles around him, too. Eventually Randy forced himself to speak out, probably in self-defense. The Amazing Rando was born at that time, too. Even before he could communicate very well verbally, I remember that Randy shared his interests and absolute genius with those of us who recognized the clues - he couldn't say "HEY! Hey, look at me!" as so many little kids do, but if you took the time to watch, Randy beamed. And he still beams, when he shares his Inner Child's imagination. That may be a sort of contentment for my cousin. His brother STILL picks on him, calls him Rando and plenty of other names (some of which are unmentionable) and teases as brothers do - truly out of love. Chris would defend his brother fiercely, too, if there was any need for his defense. Randy expresses himself perfectly now, with words that reflect his intelligence and view of life which seems untainted by the involvement of emotion - at least outward emotion. Randy's inner emotions may be another story entirely, but he hasn't shared those with me. Perhaps he can't share them.
He HAS shared his pyro glee and his pinwheels. I came a long way to see them, and he has come a long way to share himself with me. I love you, Randy. Stay happy.