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Becky Calvert Tribute

GOODBYE DEAR CiC

By Beboman

Camp Delusia, by the Gods, it has been a long time since I have been back here. I think it was two summers ago when I was looking for my crazy brother. Camp Delusia was created by CiC and Sidekick many years ago. It was a safe haven for many of us, a place where we could be who we wanted to be, with no boundaries and no judgments. Not everyone was invited to the camp, but those of us that were fortunate enough to be invited always felt the warmth of the place and of its people. One thing that always made it special was arriving to camp and seeing the smiling faces of CiC and her Sidekick. They always sat in front of their tent, smiling and letting us know that it was ok to be there.

After some years of absence I have come back to the camp. However, my return is marked by a very sad occasion: CiC has lost her last battle and the Gods are calling her to the heavens. And so like the great warrior she had always been, we will gather here today to pay tribute to such a great Lady and Warrior.

Like always, Iím the last one to get here. I can smell MamaLynís nutbread muffins from miles away; a great reminder of some really great times. I knew that Bardy would be taking care of every single last detail for the ceremony.

As a pull up to my tent on Mellow Yellow, I see that Nan, my tent mate, has already arrived. Everything in the tent has been organized, put in its place and cleaned. She does that when she is worried or sad. I can hear the rest of the group in the distance going about what they need to get done.

I park Mellow Yellow by my tent and look around me. I know that I have to see Bardy and get my marching orders from her, but first things first. As the Enforcer, I have a duty to perform, a duty that today is the hardest I have had to do in a long time, a task to which I am really not looking forward, but it has to be done. So, with a heavy heart, I go to one of my saddle bags and very carefully take out the camps flag, then very slowly, as if my feet were made of lead, I walk to the center of camp to hoist the colors.

Nan heard me arrive and came out of our tent. As she saw me get the flag she went back in got her guitar and followed me to the flag pole, all the while playing Amazing Grace. Then MamaLyn joins us. She left her kitchen and put on the pink leather gauntlets that the CiC had given her some years back. Lida, our dear photographer, also joins us with her camera. From the corner of my eye, I can see Bardy heading toward us, books in hand, to make sure we do things the right way. Then Mel, LisaJain and S Singer also join us. The rest of the troops just stood by at the entrance of their tents and watched.

As I was getting ready to hoist the flag, Bardy stops me. Shirl was walking toward us, her pace slow but determined, her pain visible. We all stand in silence as she gets to us. No one knows what to say or do. When she finally gets to where I stand, I offer her the flag and ask her if she wants to do the honors. She says it is my job as the Enforcer (really Master at Arms) to do this. I hook the flag up. She stands next to Bardy and watches as our flag is hoisted to half mast.

We all stand there looking at the flag and listen to Nan as she plays her guitar. This was the first time in the history of our camp that our flag has ever been hoisted to half mast.

During the years the camp has been in existence, we all have had to face some really trying times, but the thought of our camp as a safe haven for those times has been the consoling aspect; especially the fact of seeing our CiC and Sidekick always together, always welcoming us back to camp, made those trying moments easier to deal with.

Sidekick stood there looking at the flag as if froze in time. So did the rest of us. No one knows what to do, what to say, we all just stare at the flag as if waiting for CiC to dictate an order. So after a few minutes, Bardy takes the lead and hugs Sidekick, then in her very official voice says, ďGuys, itís time to get this ceremony on its way. Everyone needs to go back and finish the things that need to be finished. Come on guys, back to work. Beboman, I need you in my tent ASAPĒ and with those words she starts to head back to her tent.

In mid-stride, she is stopped by Shirl, who takes her hand. They walk together toward the main tent, gradually one by one we all follow. Shirl and Bardy stand at the entrance of the main tent and as we enter every one gives Sidekick a hug. I am the last one left standing by the flag pole and the last one to arrive at the tent. I feel the need to give her a big hug and tell her that I will always be there for her and that CiC will be miss dearly. But how can I do that; I am not known to be a hugging person. I really have I hard times with words. I am much better at the enforcing of orders and decrees.

Sidekick and I look at each other. I see in her eyes her pain and I gradually pull her toward me and hug her. She was not really expecting that from me, but she lets herself be overpowered by my hug. I can feel her tears rolling down her checks. After a few minutes, she breaks the embrace and tells me to go in. We all sit around and start talking about the first time we met CiC and Sidekick. We remember all the great moments we all have had at camp. MamaLyn takes a few minutes to go and get the nutbread from her kitchen, Nan goes for the wine in our tent, Bardy put her books away and Lida starts taking pictures. Lisa shares with us one of her great poems and time passes by. Then, as if drawn by a magnet, I stand silently and, unnoticed, I walk to the entrance of the tent. I look up to the sky and there I see a chariot of gold drawn by a Pegasus. I see our dear CiC heading to the Gods with a big smile on her face. Then I go back to my place and continue to share stories and memories with the rest. I know the CiC would enjoy this moment of love and sharing. It would have made her very happy and proud.