Monday, April 13, 2009
Tribe of Ross
My sister, Chae (SHAY), will graduate from high school later this spring. Chae is the daughter of my father's widow (and third wife), Tami. Chae is planning to attend George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon later this year, and so came here from her home in Minden, Nevada, with little brother Seth in tow, to tour the campus.
Chae and Seth together make up the third "litter" of kids that were produced by my father, Ross Cariaga. Dad had three wives over the course of his life, and produced offspring with each. It started with me, in 1962, and culminated with Seth in 1997. That's 35 years of siring children. No meager feat, eh?
Each of us-- myself, Eric, Paige, Mia, Calee, Chae and Seth --can all be said to have our genesis in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where Dad lived for the last nearly 40 years of his life. None of us live there now. We're scattered up and down the Pacific coast, from the Seattle Metro area down through western Nevada. But we remain a close-knit family... part of Dad's legacy, I suppose. We all gathered at my house this last weekend, with our respective families, for a little get-together.
The eternal yin-yang equilibrium of human life was never so emphatically demonstrated as it was with Dad. At least, in my experience. He was a man that could win over anyone with his charm, his generosity, his genuine interest in people. He was also a man that could terrify and intimidate. He was loved by those whom he befriended; he was feared by those who landed on his "bad side." He never forgot a kindness or a slight.
All of his children inherited his charisma, to one degree or another. We're a boisterous lot. We're friendly; we're tolerant; we smile a lot. I like to think we're charming. But we're also hot-headed, and maybe sometimes a little too quick to take offense. In short, we're passionate people.
I always feel rejuvenated after our get-togethers. We get along tremendously. There is a lot of love and support all around.
I know that Ross, always present in spirit, approves.