Family Update #10 - Summer 2019
It has been three months since our last post. Hard to believe that a quarter of the year could pass by so quickly and be so full. It was a season of joy, sadness and growth both on homestead and in our family.
On June 8th my Father, Alan Keith Hanning, passed away at the age of 63. It is not easy losing a father, especially one who had been so full of life and contagious optimism. He had been sick for a while, but in truth is was unexpected. He had his ups and downs and we often thought that he would pull through. It was truly a blessing to accompany him during his final days. In those final moments there is a lot of joy, peace, grace and healing that comes from having faith that this is not the end. The memorial a few weeks later gave my siblings and I a chance to share memories, both good and bad, though mainly good, about our childhood, his life, and that despite many challenges, we always knew that we were loved. In his eulogy I explained that “Some men’s legacy are enshrined in stone, others in more subtle ways but all the more important. Dad’s legacy will be that while it’s true that he didn’t always get what he wanted, and that the script of his life may have been different if he were the only author, he was open to what life threw at him and refused to lose his joy, sense of humor, and optimism despite the challenges. You could say, that He was on the move. The next big break, the next best thing, the next answer, and the next piece of the puzzle, was a real possibility that he knew he was called to explore. A few years back I taught a course on Walker Percy’s famous novel “The Moviegoer”. The main character, Binx Bolling, explains the liberation and meaning he feels now that he is on the “search,” saying “The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life. To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is to be in despair.” Dad, even up until the end, was never in despair. He engaged life with a type of sacred obligation to figure it out, and to share what he had learned with others.”
After my Dad’s passing we got to work making an urn from a beautiful old 14in wide piece of red oak. All the kids helped and it was a beautiful way to honor their Papa. We also finished our 8’x6’ chick-shaw which helps keep the grass mowed and the poultry fed. Made a new home for the ducks. Fattening our bucklings in a new fenced area down the hill. Installed a new forest zipline and worked on two full sized replicas of the Nina and the Pinta. Okay, we just visited the full size Nina and Pinta, but given enough, time, skill and a small army of Portuguese ship builders I am sure we could pull it off.
All this despite lot’s of travel for speaking and teaching in Phoenix, Tennessee, Ohio, and New Orleans.