Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Day of the Dead and Remembrance

The Day of the Dead has come and nearly gone, a time of remembrance for loved ones lost, a time of memories as autumn fades into winter. This weekend I've attended two memorial services, one for my uncle and another for a close friend both of whom passed this October. It's a reminder of how little time we have, a memento mori at the end of the season of life. Welcome to winter and the season of sequestered recovery. In spring life will return, until then we must retreat into our burrows and huddle together for warmth.

So here's remembering you, Lee. Remembering my childhood when you lived just around the block and how my dad bought my first 'real' bike from you and your son. Here's remembering how you were one of the only bosses that could have made my first summer job bearable. I'll always see you as that guy who always was laughing, who always was a hit with the ladies, who had a gentle soul. I think that gentleness is what this world will miss most, it's turned into a hard place that needs all the kindness, humor, and patience it can get. Today there's a little less of that to go around, and the world's a sadder place for the loss. I'll always strive to remember how you made me feel when I was a dumb kid, just out of school and without an idea how to maneuver in the world, and I'll try to offer the same, gentle guidance to the bumbling lost souls I run into out there in the world.

Here's remembering you, Dan. A rapier wit wielded by a velvet-gloved hand. My first "career" job was to take a job at a local bio-med manufacturer and it wasn't long after my first day when I first saw you on the manufacturing floor. You were one of the most striking men I ever met, handsome and charismatic, a magnet that drew everyone into your orbit. Over the years we drifted apart and then back together again, and I consider myself lucky to have gotten the chance to really get to know you in the past two years. You reminded me of the value of having an open heart and your encouragement to pursue dreams with the full force of my being wasn't lost (even if I didn't always listen). The golden light of autumn is colder for not having you here, but the warmth you gave will linger and I promise to keep it alive.

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