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I Am So Afraid of Dying

Updated on October 27, 2015

I call this place home it is Nankoweap

It took 12 hours to hike here from the north rim. My feet were bleeding and my pards did not like me. Life is great.
It took 12 hours to hike here from the north rim. My feet were bleeding and my pards did not like me. Life is great. | Source

My goodness the sky is blue!

Let us just ride with me on my paddle boat for a few. Let me just ship the oars and let the water take us where it will. We are on the mighty Colorado in a slow moving current riding through the Grand Canyon. Alright truth be told it is not my boat. One of the most famous river runners of all time is really at the helm but he let me sit in "the drivers seat" for a bit so I can feel like a big man. Daniel Dierker built this boat with his skilled wood worker's hands. Hear tell the danged thing "retails" for half a hundred grand. We call it a river ''Dory". It is seemless. Isn't that a cool word I made up. It does not displace the water, it is all wood and pegs built by a craftman's love without the intrusion of nails. Ya just want to walk up to it and thump with your knuckles. This one is sky blue and bears the name I gave it - Blew. I got to admit that I put Daniel on a pedestal like one of those Greek Gods in a Pantheon. He is my oldest brother and he cracks a whip like a mule driver on steroids.He never ever let me be second best. That son bitch made me strive because there was no other option. We are Dierkers by golly damn and we better act like it or die trying.

Once again I fool/full you my beloved reader. Life is worth living and there are great people in the world that help you live it. Oh sure they be damned and are going straight to hell in a hand basket but they did one heck of a job going there. Daniel Dierker is one such man. Well screw convention and what people may say. Daniel raised me up. I love the man with every fiber of my being. He is a stoned cold prick, gruffier than hell's bells and awesome. Me I missed the boat as it sailed. I lead my life forgetting to grab that great brass ring in the merry-go-round we call life. I let Dan down.

Back to our boat on the river we will call life.

Have you ever been in prison?

Ya oughta go there some time. One time I was in a "jail" in Paris, France for throwing Maltoff cocktails at a Chistian Caltholic Church that supported Franco in Spain. OK I admit I was jacked up on Nixon and a guy named KIissinger who taught one day a week at the American College in Paris. Schlesinger was his erstwhile sidekick and taught us to hate fascists and communists. What the heck?

True love needs stupidity of youth. We cannot get there without living first. Damn if I did not live stupid. Now Brian is stupid. That dognosed dogface is blessed. A man that stands taller with his gentle hand than his great 12 foot body. Alright he is only like 6'6" and a miraculous love in the flesh. Brian Dierker is larger than life. You have seen him in movies. He is the worlds most celebrated river runner in the world. We don't need another hero, but if we did it would be Brian Dierker. I just can't stand the thought about my body giving up and so I cannot call him and have him Brian berate me and chastise me.What a horrible thing it would be if he could no longer place his hand on my shoulder and tell me to try harder even in my old age.

I do not know love yet. I am weak of the flesh. But let that not be the end of my story.

Love means making it through the night with daddy

'so we sleep outside and wild boars snort at us. but we hug.
'so we sleep outside and wild boars snort at us. but we hug. | Source

So a tale of two brothers

What do you do? I just kicked a rock. It busted open. It is a dirty gross road down the quarry that I hike. Homeless ply this road. And they are dirty and gross. But the rock split open and revealed a fern impression fossil inside it. Am I worthy of such miracles? Brian is and Daniel is. But I am not.

Cry as I might it don't change the miracle of life. Those brothers of mine are ugly brothers. And that is a miracle. By golly jingles I love them so much. I hate 'em but I love them.

Let us get back on our "ship".

You don't know about lonely

I do. I have lived a life alone. What the hell was I thinking. Do not go there.It is brutal alone. I have not shown you or my brothers the love I have for them. I am a dog spanked moron. Do not go down this road of hell. Hug 'em. Tell them that you love them and they are the most important person for right now.
I am afraid to die alone.

Let me tell you about my wife. She is so imbecilic she loves me to death. Hey she is back on that Blew boat with me. Boy howdy she looks fine under her umbrella as she thinks the sun is the devil and is white like snow. She is just a part of me. Brian and my sons smile as they take in the world. Brooks is thirty and the finest model on God's green earth, Gabriel is a babe of almost 6. I don't deserve such boys or wife. Amen.

So she is an angel. Oh lordy knows I have fallen. And yet she picks me up. Not like a drunken fool. Like a sister who says I love you.

I have these bad days with cancer. It is like a robber in the night that steals your well being instead of you wallet. Right now is a bad day. I feel like doggy poop if you know what I mean. But you know what, in a few hours my honey baby darling snuggersnack will be here wit dat sunna shining in her lova hubba for me. We will hold hands and cry together. We will make dinner and sugga shake like the finest honeydew melon on steroids. Yes indeedy daddy I will shake and bake my booty! I don't love her enough I love her too much if you get my drift, I reckon I could just smother her with my love, but she got a strong kick and stroke and always rises to the service. Did I just thank God for her, or was I f'rgettin to give thanks for a living.

Oh no you ain't outta da woods yet let me tell ya bout my boys.

There is a song, I do not have a right/write to sing. I was once going about 110 miles and hour through a little town called Texarkana. A baddass Malibu with a 440 burning wheels like rubber in an incinerator. The only way the flatfoot pigfaced cops got me was a trap with three of them. Jerks. I remember telling them "Ociffer pig sir I was only going 100" It was the old days, and when I swept kicked the young one and took his gun things got respectful. So I spent a week in jail. They kicked me out because I hounded them with the gospel. And that brings me to my two sons. Remember we are on the Blew together. A boat built by one brother and capained by the other. Are my sons my brothers? Yes in a way they are.

Gabriel is about 6 years old. Brooks is about 90 going on 30. They do not fulfill me because I will not put that crap on them. They are windows through which I view the world. I no longer own my perspective, they do but don't tell them. Innocence and wisdom, love and anger. They feel for me for I can no longer rage. I am not a good man but I am manifest well by my sons. Oh hell, they ask me what it was like with a camera instead of gun in the Congo. I remind them that they are love made whole by their mothers and cracking a man's neck with your bare hands sucks. No life deserves to die. I hate myself for being a bad dad because of my past. But I cannot change that.

Brooks and Gabriel are two of the most handsome young bucks you could meet. Their different momma's are beautiful. I was handsome before Frank Donald's little brother took a rock to my face in kindergarten. Brooks can speak all Latin on you, he taught himself piano and all kinds of harps. He writes lyrics that melt a soul. That punk makes me cry. Gabriel beat me at chess Friday. Little punk can do a dojo proud and yet touches his mom with hugs and kisses that can make asphalt gooyey.

So we are on the boat. Blew. Son of a gun gonna have some fun on the bayou.

Let me wrap this total rambling crap up

I think you are now with me on old Blew. You drop an oar and it comes up green with moss. The air is 100 degrees but the water is 49. We just love each other and watch God create wonder.

That takes us right back to our title. I ain't afraid of dying. I am afraid of leaving. The whorey bitch of hells bells got it's fingers on me. I don't buy that crap for a second. But these bad days make me think twice. By golly bo jingles I don't love the sun like I oughta. I will right now go out and try to love my day,. OK baby Messico is down that way and the sun burns bright. Back to my Blew. There is 4 billion years of rock above us.Did I tell you I did Vietnam? Not like the men who never came back from copperhead road. I was put in prison therte..Because I was a deviant there. My wife does not know about it so shut up I love freedom and think Jesus really walked the earth. My son's not so much.

I am sorry for this ramble. Kind of fun though. You and me are broken. That is good. Let us be broken together. I have spoken. I am dying. And I will not go quiet. Amen!


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Lawrence, the past is fun to revisit and I shake my head in disbelief I am here now. Carpe Diem

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      A powerful story! I had some friends who went as Missionaries to Spain and the stories they told of Franco's era were wild ones!

      As for the jail cell, I've been there, done that and one time almost caused a diplomatic row exceot Turkey denied I was 'in custody' (long story and so far out I'm not sure anyone would believe me!)

      It's ok to be afraid, but don't let the fear get in the way of living now!!


    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Frank, I truly value your friendship as we have gotten to know each other here.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, truth be told I took a few days off to let the lowness really settle in. I don't think we want to feel down. But it is also by the grace that we may feel. Nothing is without purpose and not meant to be embraced.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bronwen, I was just reading the song "if it be your will". Solace is found even if my voice be stilled. Thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Clive are are very generous in you comment. Faith and love are mainstays and getting blessing from you in that way means a whole lot to me. Thank you for the hard thought you put into your comment.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.


      I am glad to have brought back some memories. They are a part of who I am, so we can share.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby, thank you for such a nice comment. I apologize for not getting back sooner I had a couple of real bad days but for now they are behind me. We do ebb and flow just like the currents of river.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      2 years ago from Shelton

      you can never stand alone my friend.. and I kind of agree with MsDora... Voted awesome if I could Eric.. :) Frank

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, I think all this rambling is the result of your being drunk--drunk with the love of life. "Life is worth living and there are great people in the world that help you live it." Live on!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thinking of you, praying for you and your loved ones. Thank you for your story.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      2 years ago from Jamaica

      The Journey of Life goes on my friend. This is just another phase. No matter how much we enjoy the taste of life, we all have an expiry date stamped on us, whether we like it or not. The thing is that some people go before others. We all fight to live when we have love surrounding us, especially when people depend on us. But don't worry my friend, faith and prayer is a marvelous combination and we have both. I have faith that you will endure and i will pray you will. For the Lord is my shphered and i shall not want, he leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his namesake! May he Lord bless you eric!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana, there is a compassion in you. Please by God keep it. I just scratch my head and wonder what a sweet darling like you cares a good nickel about me. But I do declare it is in your nature to care, though we ain't worthy. Let goodness surround you and bless you.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, old uncle death and disaster is just a fraud. We can feel it in our gut that loving feeling that is the difference between just getting by and living. Thank you good man.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Cris, I reckon we do arrive when we leave. Could it always be a better place? I tend to think so. It is a good time to leave my pity pot and move on.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Now, those two last words of yours I do like - 'young lady'!! No one's called me that in a long time.


    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann, let us love life as fully as we can and use our words to express it. Maybe we can inspire folk. Wouldn't that be cool. Wait a second---- you do! Thank you much young lady.

    • alison monroe profile image

      Alison Monroe 

      2 years ago

      Eric, thanks for writing about river trips--I've been on some but haven't thought about them for years. Thanks for writing, period.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hey Ed, shucks I am listening to sad country music and whining to myself. I think the thunder is about to break and bring a spiritual rain that will cleanse my soul. I think you bring me hope. I think that will work. Thanks pard.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I sat utterly engrossed in this journey. I now know why I admire your sermon's so much. You are so much like all of we humans, up one day, down the other, yet we believe. We love. We live life through the good, bad and ugly. Forever hoping for the good to outweigh the bad and it usually does. Your devotion for family shines like the sun shinning on old Blew. Sail on my friend. We are here when you want to take another ride. God bless you and family.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      I love the way you can still recognize life's blessings in the storm of life. The people who are your rock, like your wife, children, siblings and faith. At the end of the road, the only things that matters is that we loved and were loved.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You want to know what I'm proud of today? Do you, huh?

      I'm proud that you are my friend.

      Need I say more? I don't think so.



    • CrisSp profile image


      2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Bonjour Eric! Not sure if I understand this hub right as I only have few hours of sleep (French lesson kept me awake) but I wish I could join you in the Blew and simply sail away...quietly but the sound of the water waves and splashes.

      In my poem, "Memento Mori", which I have written (hub) sometime back while reflecting on life, my muse whispered, " it’s when we leave that we’ve also arrived, And finally one with the ONE."-- I think the muse is right.

      Not meaning to promote that poem but whenever you have the chance, come and visit. I'm certain you'll (somehow) find comfort reading it as an offering of the heart and soul.

      Take care Eric. Sending you lots of love from the sky. ~

      P.S. And that cancer? Whip it Eric! Whip it! :)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      'They are windows through which I view the world.' What a great line that is! I know exactly what you mean; the same applies to my grandchildren.

      We don't see life until we see it through the eyes of a child - and we've forgotten much of our own childhood, though I do remember a fair deal of the wonder.

      Your writing has suddenly become so gritty, so 'get out there and grab everything', so profound. The style is so different from your sermons; I love both styles. It's amazing how brilliant writing can come out of adversity; I think it's the passion and anger and determination that makes it happen.

      What a great picture we get of your brothers, your backgrounds and your deep feelings that go with it all. Your wife sounds beautiful and wise. Your sons sound great. I see a good dad in you; you care, you love and you try to guide them - you couldn't do that if you hadn't seen another side of life and we all learn from bad experiences (at least, we should). You still hold on to God and that's harder through adversity, or is it easier?

      You have a strength to beat anything, I think. I understand what you mean about hating leaving. I sometimes think what would happen if I die before I should (if that makes sense!) and my one overwhelming feeling is that I want to cling on to the children and watch them as they grow - for ever!

      Keep hanging on, Eric! Keep writing your thoughts and your wisdom; it does us good and it will do you good too. Keep riding that wonderful boat of life and watching that awesome scenery as you go by! Keep inspiring us!

      My prayers and love to you across the pond.

      Ann :)

    • ahorseback profile image


      2 years ago

      Eric , ....keep livin , keep writin ...keep lovin......Like they said , you sure make your mark on this world .......can't wait to see the next one ...I'll look for your trail! Keep smiling !

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John I just cannot get it right. But yet everywhere around me are roses blooming in full glory. You for instance are right here and right now good to me. Where in the hell did that come from? You lift me up. I did not do a damned thing to get that but you do it for me. I just get love. If I am but a dog and you care for me, what a wonderful world it is.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Reynold, let me tell you about a place called La Mesa. It is a place of demons on a mountain top just south of the border here. It is wild and crazy. A prison where they just throw you in. Not really even cells. Just a town inside. Tijuana is amazing.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Well Eric, one thing you can surely claim is that you made your mark on this Earth, and continue to do so, both with the wonderful legacy you pass on through your incredible sons, and your incredibly inspirational writing. This is probably the most powerful and profound (to me anyway) yet. I have no doubt that you are man enough to take that old grim reaper by the neck and snap it like a twig, and carry on stronger than ever. Great to share old "Blew" with you...let's keep on rowing.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      2 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      What--you were in prison....In France? or am I imagining this wild tale called life that you lived. The famous people you mention were teachers? All of this is wild and wacky!!! I must say I do not know what to make of this --no, not entirely at all.


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