Kevin would have thoroughly enjoyed his memorial. At least 150 friends gathered to celebrate his life; Amanda joined us from San Juan Island and a couple of his closest friends traveled from Ashland. We shared stories and a beautiful slideshow of his life, his ukulele group performed (he would have been proud—they were amazing!), and we were served a gourmet dinner. The next day, a dozen of us gathered for a work party to complete projects at his home, including building a retaining wall for his backyard garden with the 60-pound concrete blocks that were piled in his driveway. It was a good way for us to work out our grief, and to witness the power of community. There will be another memorial for Kevin next Saturday in Ashland for his many friends there.
It has been challenging to think of continuing on our journey. When we envisioned this adventure, we certainly didn’t imagine tragic events as part of it. In some ways, I want to go home, to return to what is safe and known. To return to those we love. But the truth is that those we love are widespread; our family and friends are scattered across the country. Traveling is one way that we can stay connected.
At Kevin’s memorial, I spoke of my gratitude for the recent time together that we shared on Lopez. Those were magical days, and we feel blessed to have had that special time with him. We are also thankful that we spoke of our love for each other; we are fortunate in that we left nothing unsaid on our last evening together.
When we were preparing for this journey, I emailed Kevin a photo of our dining room on the morning that we were moving out of our house. It was a disaster. All of the remaining items to be dealt with were piled almost ceiling high; it was an overwhelming moment. Kevin’s response to my photo: “Hey, if that’s all that’s standing in your way, just shove it out to the curb and go!” It made me laugh then, and it makes me laugh now. Thanks, Kevin, for putting it in perspective, and for encouraging us to embark on this journey.
On our last evening together, as we were heading home from sharing dinner on his sailboat under the full moon, Kevin texted, “I’m looking forward to our next adventure together, wherever that may be.” And the next morning, as we waved to him from Shark Reef as he sailed past, he texted: “Keep on enjoying the good life.” We’re taking you with us, dear friend, wherever we go.[portfolio_slideshow]