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31

 

All afternoon we lingered en masse on the balcony outside his room, eager for the final glimpses of him .. we watched him through the plate glass windows. He called for this one or that . . . the rest of us stood by patiently. About 4 p.m. he came out with a round tin of sugar cookies in his hand. He gave each of us one of the powdery star-shaped cookies. Then with his white fingers, he dusted a white "mustache" on Beryl William's face . . . touched Enid, Margaret playfully on the cheek. The only one to win the favor of his heavenly hug was Lud Dimpfl's sister, who broke into tears of joy. The Beloved had read her innermost heart . . . He told us we must all disperse by 5:30, not the previously announced 6 p.m. He kept asking the time by holding up his wrist. Tex Hightower brought him a beautifully tailored blue wool jacket which he had made in 3¼ days, sewing far into the night. Beloved put it on . . . but he missed pockets! Tex explained he had not enough cloth. Baba smiled when Bili told him, You look real sharp, Baba!" And then—he was gone.

 

 

Tuesday, August 7

 

Early in the morning we were called into Baba's room for the last time. Baba again stressed none was to embrace or garland him. He looked over at me and the lei in my hands. I put it on his table. Later as I watched through the glass, I saw him put it on briefly, then give it to "BBB." A few strangers met him even in these last minutes, including one woman we knew from New York who had missed him there. He smoothed the hurt feelings of one woman who had not been at one of the meetings and had been told by others that she had to belong to a group. Baba told her how many of his followers belonged to no group at all and yet belonged to Baba's real group which included all his lovers and all his groups. His real center, he said, was the heart of everyone who loved him.

 

The pain of the coming separation was already gripping our hearts as we saw Baba's luggage carried out and we followed him downstairs, and watched him get into Lud's car. Lud describes the trip to the airport as follows:

 

"The mandali were more talkative than usual . . . in Gujarati, I believe. Baba asked me to roll up my window, as he was in a draft. Absent-mindedly I rolled it down again. Again he asked me to roll it up. The mandali inquired where all the pedestrians were; another volunteered that in America everyone has a car. Again I had rolled down the window; again Baba had ask me to roll it up. Now, whenever I am in that car and touch the window handle, I think of him!"

 

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