Last year during April, you tried to stick around, but the 'powers that be' didn't let you stay. I'm not religious (as you know), but I do have this sense of inner magic about life - even though it can be really hard to connect with at times (insert Planet Earth sequence here where wolf eats baby deer). This is great for a sense of mystery (while being human here on earth), but it doesn't work well on the ritual side of things. Your 'funeral' was just what you asked for - a party with friends and booze and a spread, but it just wasn't enough for me in the ritual sense to honor your memory. At moments I wish I were Jewish or Catholic, or anything so I could have more ritual to honor things like this - like the love I feel when I think of you, or anyone I have loved who has left the planet.
I'm putting this picture up as my first 'message in a bottle' to you, if you will, because I used this last year to announce your passing on Facebook. Everyone thought it was me you were holding in this one, but of course, it's Rob. :) You look like such a COWBOY, and it's one of my favorites. Well, you WERE an actual cowboy. But you know - like an iconic looking cowboy man.. You are one of the few real men I knew on the planet...
Back to this photo - little did anyone know from looking at this that you were nervous about holding your child on a horse that wasn't always predictable, and that Mom was the one persuading you to do it so she could have a fun camera moment. Insert Mom smiling and encouraging you to hold your infant son on the horse for a shot. You did not feel ok doing it, even though you look like it was all cool in this photo. But that's one of the things I loved so much about you. You always played it like a 'man', but underneath you were a hell of a human being with deep emotions, integrity and love for your family. Yup. You were a real man. And I miss the heck out of you. More tomorrow.