Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chapter 1 When I first met Floyd

Chapter 1

When I First met Floyd

It was April 7, 2012 when I first met Floyd; however, it was not until our meeting came to a close that she revealed her name to me.  Floyd is much younger than I am, she can only recount his birth month and 
year  . . . being February 2011.  I recall being born in the month of December in the year of 1952.

Ken, the owner of International Marine, whose manufacturing facility of the West Wight Potter was located in Inglewood, CA, introduced us as he gave me a tour.  While Ken showed me the various boats that were in different stages of completion for customers, my eye was always drawn back to “Floyd”.  Floyd, at the time was referred to as “Pinky”. Built and painted Pink to promote awareness for the “Sail 4 the Cure” campaign.  Pinky participated in several fundraising events since her birth date by the time we met.

During the tour of International Marine’s plant, Ken excused himself  . . . as a call came in that he had to attend to . . . upon his departure Floyd asked me why I came . . .
This was the moment . . . when Floyd and I began our friendship.  Floyd wanted to know why I came to Inglewood . . . as she felt that someone would come and take him on a journey . . . 
but not sure if it was, I , that she was to take the journey with.

Before I could speak, Floyd asked me if I had a child . . . I replied that I had a daughter 27 years old named Sabrina and that her mother passed away 2/14/2012 from cancer. 

Floyd asked again . . . why I came to Inglewood.  My response took me back to the mid-summer of 2000.
I told Floyd that prior to 2000, I had not experienced many friends and or family members passing away.  However, that mid-summer of 2000 changed all my perceptions about living, death, grieving, recovering and a re-awaking of our Devine purpose.

On that mid-summer of 2000, my mother was admitted to a New Haven, CT hospital for observation.  Our parents, Florence and Robert, had four sons . . . I am one of the four.
We all were there to support our mom and Dad . . . the oldest Bob was the primary care support.  To him we will always be thankful.  By November, our mom left this world to be with our lord in heaven.  Within five months, our Dad who grieved at the loss of his beloved wife went to be by her side.

Prior to our Dad leaving this world, he told me to live each day as if it was your last day and to take my retirement on an installment plan and give thanks to Jesus.  Our Dad wanted to share with my brothers and I that only the lord knows when it is time to go home. However, while we are here . . .  and always give something to others.

Since 2001, I have done my best to find balance as given to me by the last words of my Dad.  Since then, I have taken time from my day to day work . . . saving as much as I could to visit and connect with family that I have not seen in a long time and empty my bucket list.

As of today, most of my Uncles and Aunts have passed away (mostly from cancer) in the most recent 10 years, and all of them were as special to me as my mom and dad.  Moreover, I had an opportunity to visit with most of them before they left this world, as my dad encouraged me to do.

As Floyd listened, her sails were not Luffed . . . nor a sign that he was in irons as she quietly stood fast in the following wind.

Floyd asked again . . . why I came to Inglewood . . . I told her that I was seeking balance in my life and that of my daughter and for all those who have left this world via circumstances of living such as cancer, including those who have survived; such as my brother’s wife.

 I also shared with Floyd that it was a passion of mine to sail the 700 miles of the Sacramento River Delta waterway.

As Ken returned from his business call, Floyd and I included him into our conversation.
Long story short, we all embraced the pursuit of an adventure to Sail “Floyd” through the 700 miles of navigable waterway in the Sacramento Delta.  Floyd and I have now bonded.

Floyd since birth was not fitted for this adventure.  Ken and I, with the assistance of many references to previous Potter Owner’s modifications . . . re-fitted her so that we could make this adventure possible.
Most stories have a beginning, middle, and end . . . The Story of Joe & Floyd is no different.  Floyd and I met on 4/7/2012, shared our history and found common grounds, and decided to ‘Sail 4 the Cure”. 

Post Script: Floyd, Bless her Heart, asked also to be fitted with oars and a motor so she could relax and enjoy our adventure.  How could I say no . . . since we fitted her with many features to make it more pleasurable for me.

Til’ we chat again, Floyd & Joe (Joe will be rowing and motoring so Floyd can relax)

The Story of Joe & Floyd
Is just beginning . . .

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