My previous post, Awakenings, was written in reflection of my step-dad’s recent passing due to pancreatic cancer. Paul Hout was a great man. Throughout my childhood, he and my mom had a tumultuous on-and-off relationship, and were married for a brief time. In those days, Paul had some serious anger management issues, but he never stopped trying to work through them. By the time I was beginning high school, he had begun studying Buddhism. My mom had grown terribly sick with cancer. We moved in with him again and he became her caretaker, 24 hours a day until she passed away two and a half years later. It was a tremendous loss for him.
I was blessed enough to be able to visit him a few years ago, and I could tell his heart had found a good measure of peace. His little shrine with a Buddha statue on it was set up in one corner of his apartment. He had a loving way about him that felt fresh, as if his heart had opened up profoundly during all the years since I’d last seen him. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to visit him. I loved him very much, and I will miss him dearly.