Eight Things About Me

Aron has tagged me for the “8 Things About Me” meme.

So, here are eight random things about me.

1. I believe that a happy, fulfilling life cannot be achieved by approaching life as a competitive event. A well-lived life is a cooperative effort.

2. I am very concerned about the growing toxicity of our planet.

3. I’m a big believer in “abundance mentality.” There is enough joy and love and prosperity in the world to go around. One person’s happiness and success does not mean that there is any less happiness and success available for anyone else.

4. I really hate talking on the phone.

5. I can play sheet music, but only in treble clef. I understand the rules of bass clef, but despite years of effort my hands still can’t seem to coordinate with my brain on this one.

6. I am very concerned about the modern trend toward financial goals and the superficial trappings of wealth rather than the true nurturing of human hearts and spirits. So many people out there own all the latest gadgets, but are literally starving for real friendship and love and encouragement. The very real human need to be noticed and appreciated and emotionally connected is what drives spiritually bankrupt social outcasts to finally gain the attention of their fellow man by any means necessary, even if it means a bloodbath at a school or shopping mall.

7. I believe that every child enormously benefits from being read to every day, even well past the age when he is able to read on his own. This is a time for parents and children to share, reconnect, and refill that emotional tank that too often goes empty these days.

8. (This is going to be a long one. Bear with me.) My grandfather passed away unexpectedly Saturday morning. Or, no. ‘Unexpectedly’ isn’t really the right word — after all, the man was ninety years old and had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Certainly we knew he wouldn’t be around for very much longer.

Otis Fosmo was one of the most resourceful, creative, independent and just plain smart people that ever lived. He walked his own path, never followed the crowd, lived on his own terms. He dwelled in a house that he built himself with his own two hands; some of my warmest memories of childhood are set in that cozy place. He kept his body strong and his mind sharp. There was no weakness in him that I ever saw.

Cancer is an ugly thing. Anyone who has seen a loved one taken by this horrible disease knows what I mean: the way it robs its victims of their vitality and their dignity. I can only imagine what a blow it must have been to my strong, independent grandfather to learn that he was facing such a fate.

He wasn’t in any real physical pain. His mind was as sharp as ever, his body not yet ravaged by the cancer.

My father tells me that on Friday, Grandpa became very depressed about his situation. He said he wanted to die strong, not weak and helpless.

Saturday morning he did not awaken. He died, as he had lived, on his own terms.

He was an amazing man.

Rest in peace, Grandpa. I’m so very glad to have known you.

Categories: Death, Family, Life, Memes | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Eight Things About Me

  1. Your grandfather sounds like the kind of man I’d have liked to have known. How marvelous it is that you have the blessing of cozy childhood memories in his home to keep you warm.

    Hugs and kisses.


  2. dsilkotch

    Thanks, Aron. The visits with him were all too infrequent while I was growing up, but some of my earliest happy times were spent there. He was absolutely one of a kind.


  3. Wendy Cook

    I had to respond to this.

    No, I did not know Otis Fosmo, but I’ve lived in the high desert for 20 years and have always been intrigued by the Adopt A Highway sign advertising Mr.Otis Fosmo as the person who cleaned up that section of highway on 395. I was impressed that a single person would dedicate his time to go out and actually clean up a stretch of highway. Usually, it’s a restaurant, a club or some other organization, but rarely an individual. I have been intrigued by this Otis Fosmo person for the better part of my 20 years here. (I mean no disrespect when I say that I’ve always wanted to name a beloved pet after him, but have been waiting for the right one to come along..) Anyway, it seems to me that the Daily Press did a news article on him some time ago or somehow I found out a little more about him and he sounded like a wonderful soul. From then on, Otis has been kind of a hero to me. Someone whom I never met, but felt a kinship with, if that makes sense. It wasn’t until he passed away that I read the obituary and got a feel for the person that he really was. It sounds to me that he lived a good, long, abundant life and I just want you to know that he made a great impact on me, a person who never met him. I was saddened by his passing away, and feel that the best tribute I can do is to be more like Otis….to pay more attention to the sunset, to be more resourceful, to make negatives into positives and to try enriching the lives of others as much as possible. I put a smile on my face this morning and left in on all day in memory of Otis. I think I will do that more often. Otis, if you’re reading this, I love ya! God bless your dear family and thank you for the inspiration you have given me and so many others. I lived in Oak Hills all these years and regret that our paths never crossed. Thanks for all you did for others and I hope I can be just a little more “Otis-like.”
    God Bless,
    Wendy Cook


  4. dsilkotch


    Thank you so much for your kind words. I love the thought that Grandpa has touched the hearts of people he never even met. I think he would be enormously pleased to know that he’s inspired others to live more cheerfully and resourcefully and compassionately. That’s so wonderful.

    I just now realized that that “Adopt-A-Highway” sign will have a new name on it for the first time in…I don’t even know how long. It feels like the end of an era.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write. Your note gave me a warm glow and a smile. :^)


  5. Joy K Walker

    My name is Joy Walker (Beck) and I knew Fosmo (as we called him) and I remember the cool ass buggy (orange?) he drove around in. My dad built our house 2 blocks away in 1969-70 and after he passed my family and I moved back in. I had no idea he was so involved in so many things but when I ride my quad by his old cabin, (which still looks virtually the same) I always think of the old times when I was young living out here in Baldy Mesa. Didn’t he have a type of boat project he was building in the back? Since it was 40 years ago my memory is kinda foggy on specifics. But I did work at the Daily Press for 20 years! Until last year…..what a great obituary and timeless memorial of a life well lived!

    Liked by 1 person

    • He did have a big boat out back! I think he may have lived in it while he was building the “shingle shack,” as he called his main house. It was a fantastic place to spend the night when me and my siblings were kids. And Young Me loved driving that dune buggy!

      Thanks for stopping by the blog, and thanks for the trip down memory lane!


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