Traveling Light…..


Denver Jenkins Wathen Jr. left this world September 15, 2011 at 3:55pm the same way he came into it March 22, 1931, surrounded by family.

It was not the ending any of us would have predicted, but one I think none of us would ever trade.

I have learned more about my father in the last few weeks than he ever cared to tell me in all my 48 yrs. I’ve looked thru his records, a disintegrating birth certificate, diplomas, military discharge papers, divorce decrees and  every picture I could find. I peeled back the layers of wrapping paper and found a person in the center of the box.

He was not perfect, just human. Subject to all the hazards and consequences we all must face through life. I was able to see the things that jaded him and the circumstances that made him shy away from being the husband and father we wished he could have been.

None of us will ever know the real Denver, what he thought or what he felt.  But I think I got as close as I was ever meant to these final days.

God wanted me to SEE him as  a fellow human being. Just a person who filled his bag with life experiences and at the end had to stand at the dock and empty that bag piece by piece, re-examining each experience  till the only thing left in the bottom of the bag was the coin for the Ferryman.

Today he set his burdens down and tonight he is traveling light once again.


I love each and every one of you


Copyright 2011 Juliana Wathen




22 comments on “Traveling Light…..”

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad twenty years ago and remember that time as being so painful. Take good care of yourself and your family.


  2. Peace and serenity to you and your family, dear Huli. May he rest softly and gently and quietly in the arm’s of the angels.


  3. So sorry, JLuv. He is finally at rest, and I believe you have found some peace. Keeping you all in my heart and my prayers. Love you.


  4. I am happy that you finally were able to find the real Denver and understand him as much as you could. You are an excellent person and daughter to even take the time to actually take a deeper look and possibly find some sort of comfort and resolution.
    At the risk of this being taken wrong……I will still say…….On many levels I am happy for Denver that whatever made him the way he was, he can NOW put it behind him and find some peace he may not have had here. For whatever reason. With that being said, I have no doubt he loved his wife and children and he will be missed.
    I admire you Juliana for your efforts during this time. I sincerely do.

    Much love to you all.


  5. Thinking of you today and hoping you find peace in knowing that you had to chance to find a comfortable place with your Dad before he left….hugs to you!


  6. Juliana, just now getting back to some type of life. I did not know Denver was gone. Please except my heartfelt sorry. My 3 girls dads are now at rest in Heaven. I love you….and hope that Ms. Wanda is ok…you are for sure a chip off of her block…You are a truely sweet, lovable, talented , beautiful and yes young woman. Who i am proud to say is my friend. No words i can say but I AM SORRY….I will call you soon…stay close to LAW and your Mom….THE LAW makes everything seem OK>>>>thats her job…I love you …Brill


    1. Thank you Bobby,
      I was struck most by the attendance of Vera Acrey at the service. I hadn’t seen her in year. She ask “Do you know me” . I recognized her immediately. I hugged her frail body. she looked deeply into my eyes like she was searching for something. then she said ” Robert has been gone for 17 years, do you think anyone remember him? Oh My God….”Everyday Vera, Everyday.”
      I’m not sure if it is just our group or just intrinsic of high school friends..but we never gather without remembering those that can no longer be with us.
      We recently met up in Surfside…about 30 of us and we forced Becky “Ma” Bell to join us. We raised our glasses at dinner the first night to those who had passed and to those who just couldn’t be with us. We sat out on the deck and told stories and relived the memories of our youth in Conroe. We confessed our sins to a teacher who seemed to already know everything we “Thought” we had gotten by with and the names rang out. Robert Acrey, Cindy Coker, Paula Waters, Brad Hobgood, no longer on this earth …..and Todd Wilson…no longer able to be with us. Not gone & never forgotten.
      They all live on in our memories and our stories. They each helped make us all who we are in life.


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