A Rememberance for Clay

A celebration of life was held on August 31, 2008 in Lander, Wyoming. It was a beautiful day and many great folks were able to attend and help us remember a life well lived.

Some fun stories were told and if you have any additional stories involving Clay and his "whacky ways" we'd love to have you share them on this blog.

Here is a meditation prayer which beautifully summarizes our (and Clay's) wishes for all who were part of the celebration and read this blog.

May all beings be happy, content and fulfilled.
May all beings be healed and whole.
May all have whatever they want and need.
May all be protected from harm and free from fear.
May all beings enjoy inner peace and ease.
May all be awakened, liberated and free.

May there be peace in the world, and throughout the universe.

Search Efforts

For the official information on the search efforts please visit: http://clayrubanosearch.com/

Our special thanks to Margaret Goodro for setting up this site!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Uncle Clay

A message from Gwen Jenkins

While "nice" seems like a rather bland word to describe Clay, that is indeed what he was. And gentle and kind and thoughtful and so caring. This was not lost on the younger members of the Jenkins clan. About five and a half years ago, when we were still in the getting-acquainted process, Deborah, Todd, and the children were preparing to move up to their present home in Monument. The night before the scheduled moving day Miranda, then 7, suffered a seizure. The reason is still unknown, but after the emergency room visit and tests, she was exhausted. The next morning she was still groggy, as friends arrived to help with the move. Clay and Rachel happened to be in town, so they pitched in, as well. However, Clay took it upon himself to be Miranda's "keeper" during that long day, sitting on the couch with her (until someone moved it), hugging her and talking quietly. That's an image I shall always carry with me. She was so content to snuggle with him, and from then on they were special buddies. All of our grandchildren loved him and he endeared himself to our family, as he did to everyone, just by "being Clay".

A message from Sarah Krall

This is from an email I wrote to Rachel on 9 September. Last Friday she suggested I try to post my feelings; that it might help me; her sister had done the same thing. Articulate, I'm not, but my love and appreciation is there all the same.

I'm sorry I left so soon after the ceremony. Selfishly, I didn't need to talk any more. I just drove around in the canyon awhile and said my own thoughts. Rachel (this is really important), lying in bed that night I finally realized what was wrong and what I could have actually stood up and said in front of everyone. And I'm gonna kick myself in the butt for eons because I was listening too hard to think. No one honored Clay's love for you; no one spoke of your love and dedication and just the fun-loving spirit you had for each other. Maybe we were all too wrapped up in our personal pain, but I can not believe I didn't come up with it in time.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Clay's Compassion of Spirit

Like Rachel's sister, Deborah, I'm sure many of us had things we wish we'd said at Clay's Celebration...but, for whatever reason it didn't happen. There was something else that I wish I'd said to the masses...but then again, it would've made me cry. Not that we weren't all crying at Clay's Celebration...but, standing there in front of everybody, I don't know that I could've retreated as gracefully/successfully as Dan onto another Clay story....buying more time to get composed again.

What I wish I'd said is something I have no doubt that all of Clay's friends would agree with...very much in line with Michelle's comment that "Clay was on the 'far side of nice'". The fact that I can't think of a single person who would have a bad thing to say about Clay...because he NEVER spoke ill of anyone. He only spoke kindly and positively about everyone and everything. I can't say that for even myself personally. I voice my opinions all the time...and will say that there are some folks I don't care too much for their antics...but, you would never-ever hear Clay say anything poorly about anyone. He would merely just choose to not say anything vs something negative. It was this compassion of spirit that was so incredibly endearing about him.

Clay's Thoughts on Soulmates

Below is an excerpt from a longer msg I received from Clay. I have thought often about his expanded definition of "soulmates". I just think this is a lovely quote from him...and sums up so much about him...and why he drew SO MANY people so close to him. He had endless SOULMATES in his life.

On 18 April 2006, Clay wrote:
An insight that I gained from someone who was quite close to me is that "soulmate" is beyond the idea of "the one and only" person "meant" for someone. Soulmates actually provide great development for each other. Sometimes that road is rocky and other times it's more fun like rocky road ice cream:)
We are certainly Soulmates. I thank you for continuing to journey together. Certainly there are more adventures to come:)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

For Rachel

I have spent this last week reflecting on the celebration of Clay’s life that so many of us shared in Lander last week, and so many others from far away. I send my heartfelt thanks to all who helped plan, coordinate, and execute such a beautiful tribute.

So many people told great stories about Clay. Some knew him as a boy, or as a young man deciding on a whim to cast off his business suit and go teach scuba diving. Others knew him on the Ice, or in Glacier. In retrospect, I am regretting that I didn't speak at the celebration, too. For whatever reason, the things that I would have said came to me about 36 hours too late to be useful.

The truth is lots and lots of people knew Clay better than I did, and part of my sadness comes from the fact that I always thought there would be time. So if it’s true that he would have wanted us each to get something out of the experience of losing him, for me it's the realization that we should never assume there will be time.

I knew Clay because he loved my sister, and so my story would have been about Rachel. When we were kids, she and I used to go into toy stores and set all the stuffed animals upright on the shelves so they could all see. (OK, I admit that we still do that.) It might seem weird to say that stuffed animals could be profound symbols of a relationship, but for me that is in fact what they are. They represent whimsy, playfulness, simplicity, gentleness, and the all-important “sense of silly” that have always made my sister-hood with Rachel a safe harbor in a storm for me. She has the gift of easy laughter. In our family pictures she was always the one sticking her tongue out and being goofy. Clay touched that part of her, and understood it, and brought it out. And she, in turn, brought it out in him. I think of him now, posing for pictures with Orson, the traveling bear. I think of how he gave Rachel her perfect nickname- Lamb. And I remember how he took care of her with such gentleness when her beloved dog Craig died.

Finally, I think I would have shared this poem, which makes me think of Clay because Rachel has told me that one of his gifts to her was to help her be braver. She says he gave her greater courage to embrace the world, and all that it offers to our imaginations.

We all miss you, Clay. We all wish we had more time.

Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.