Gary Peterson, was Trent's father and his teacher. Every person that had the pleasure to meet him had a unique, beautiful, wonderful, and learned experience with Gary. His spectrum ranged from what can only imagined to be the most beautiful Orange Jump Suit Mt Baker has ever seen, to the Red Woolrich flannel jacket that he would wrap around Trent on cold morning hunts.
But his life wasn't his disease, it was more than Ataxia. Everything in his story comes back to how he taught each and everyone of us how to live our lives better.
Gary profoundly taught Trent how to live his life courageously. He did it with his words, and by his actions in life. Sometimes Trent thinks he liked to act out these teachings more then just talk about them - like when Cheryll and Gary went to England to visit Trent for the first time while he was living abroad.
Every parent wants to see how their child lives after they have left home to write their own story. So, off they set to see the little flat in the little village in England Trent was living. Gary was in his chair by this time. To get to my front door you had to climb an Everest of stairs, so they decided that Cheryll would take a quick tour of the place and tell Gary all about it with pictures.
"Bullshit" must have been the word Gary was saying under his breath as Cheryll & Trent left him in the car and headed for the front door. Half way through the tour with Cheryll, they heard a knocking at the door. This could really only be one person....Gary. He managed to climb out of the car, shimmy his way to the back, pull his chair out of the trunk, climb into the chair, wheel himself to the steps, and then climb on his butt to the top of the stairs. What can you say to a guy ''that looks at you from the ground, barely out of breath, wearing his cheeky smile and shrugging his shoulders? Nothing, you can say nothing. Just give him the honor and show him the world's most expensive, yet smallest, and coldest apartment." Trent said.
In the end of Gary's life Trent got a chance to really spend time with him alone. He would read to him his favorite chapters from whatever book he was reading, or even some of his own writings. They would then just talk about the meaning of these words and share ideas. But there was one bit of writing Trent really didn't get to share with him because he wrote it on the day he died while sitting with him alone after everyone had gone home for the night. He'd like to leave it here for you to read and in that way, maybe he will continue to live on a little brighter in our memories.
The Play Write:
You were never a poet in your words but a play writer in your life.
Conducting the orchestra of the world with your weathered hands
Mindfully living your life as the Great-hunter and teacher to us all
Standing there with your pride in front of any approaching storm. As strong and stoic as a lighthouse being cut by the icy ocean winds, but always ready to shine your light.
Your life will always be the fabric of our woven blanket in this life. Wrap it around you now, your work here is done, just rest now, just rest and be free. You are always with me in all that I do, and how I live my life everyday as the man you made me to be.....I love you.