Today was a day off - off the road that is! We took time to enjoy the beauty of Rockhaven, the hospitality of the Jan, Diza and Maco, and the opportunity to share numerous stories about John. It is delightful to be with women who knew John so well and loved and appreciated him just as he was. We recalled his stroke here in 2007 and how he insisted that Jan and Diza take him to the VA hospital because as a Marine his health care coverage was there. Following his slurred directions from the back seat of the car, they arrived at a VA extended care center and administration office building. No more listening to John's advice - instead they took him to the nearest hospital where he was admitted and treated and then cared for at Rockhaven until he was able to travel.
It was at Rockhaven that John learned to honor the food that he ate. With the meal on the table, the blessing prayer included a description of the food and where it had been grown, how it had been prepared and who had prepared each dish. For a hungry man who sat down ready to eat, this was a challenge at first, but gradually John came to appreciate the ritual and enjoy the moment and the information shared. It change his relationship to food in a profound way.
I have felt John's spirit here in many ways. I am grateful that he is so strongly connected to this place.