Four eagles circled and soared over her head as she walked along the river’s edge as one of her fellow river warriors was passing…
She learned of Clyde’s passing four days later.
As grief and disbelief led her to share the sad news.
His family was already cleaning out his home.
Would love find them amidst the unanswered questions?
The shock wearing thin over the stretch of the holidays.
A time of sadness and seemingly untouchable joy.
A season where loss is often felt as greatly if not more than celebrating.
He rode his bike for the last eleven years that she had walked along the river’s edge.
Periodically he would stop and stretch.
His muscles that would never bend and flex.
His strength that would never be as strong.
His wild appearance. His wave. His grin. His greeting carried across the river path.
He rode most days with an open shirt, its tails flying in the wind.
A single string across his bare chest holding his shirt together.
But when he smiled all barriers slipped away.
Clyde was his own individual. Original. Guarded “Enigmatic”. Admirable. Determined.
His feet covered with plastic bags in the winter.
His bandana. His long grey hair.
His quick wit and short direct statements.
We will grieve our fellow warrior as we honour his memory.
In the darkest sorrow. We all wonder how he lived.
Why do we ask this now?
A question of regret for not knowing more about this fellow river warrior.
What was his story?
His family? His friends?
His life beyond the river’s edge…
Many thought that he was a veteran of war.
He had unseen battle scars from loosing his sense of family. His “farm” as he called it.
His freedom to move without chronic pain from an unknown injury.
She would never forget his compassion.
He got off his bike one spring morning and offered her his help.
With an outstretched arm he handed her his card with his name and number printed.
“If you need my help, Te’, let me know.”He grinned mischievously. “I clean up pretty good!”
She always felt safer knowing he was out along the river’s edge no matter the weather.
He was like a beacon of some un-refrained strength.
His silence spoken louder than most of our words exchanged.
Clyde will forever be remembered. Missed and daily revered.
It is an honour to have witnessed his spirit of unfailing determination and courage.
Blessings to his dear family, friends and fellow river warriors as eagles soar!
Cheers to you Clyde, my “hero” and fellow river warrior!
In memoriam of Clyde D. Brewer May 1942 – December 15, 2014
©2015 Te’ Werner
Excerpted from “Along the River’s Edge” from upcoming book “High Five to Triumph!”
taken by Paul Crowder ”Young Eagle Along the River’s Edge” Columbia River, WA
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