El dia de los muertos

There's been a lot of death in my family this last year. I know it's part of growing older but it doesn't make it any better. There are millions of cliches about learning and moving on. But I like a quote from Aldous Huxley. It struck a chord with me the first time I read Brave New World. It's tucked in the introduction and Huxley speaks to learning from mistakes, making amends, and changing future behavior based on that. He ends by saying, "Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean."
It was my grandmother last Fall, my Aunt this Spring, and on July 15 my dad died. He and I hadn't been on good terms for many years. My take on it was that he was an asshole and unrepentant about it and that made it impossible for us to have any kind of functioning relationship. We had much back and forth on the subject until it was obvious he wasn't willing to change his ways and I told him that we wouldn't have a relationship until something changed. Looking back now I can't even recall when that exactly was - probably 6 years ago now. And the only words exchanged in that time were some slight pleasantries
at my grandmother's funeral. In many ways I had already said my goodbyes to him.
I expected there to be sadness but there hasn't been much. The whole scenario felt like, what I would imagine it's like, having a distant relative pass away.
The memorial service was a celebration for the good guy my dad apparently was at one point. My uncle Mark was able to deliver the eulogy (eugoogley?) and I think that greatly helped his healing process. I know it's hard on my grandpa but he would never let any of us know it.
My dad's old fraternity brothers and old friends turned up in great numbers to pay respects. And it was nice to talk to these people, many of whom I remember from childhood, and catch up on life. But they also contributed to the part about it all that was saddest to me. Many of them recalled a guy that was always in good spirits, willing to help friends, the life of the party. And I never knew that guy. Maybe he was around when I was too young to remember. But the great guy, the person who most people came to memorialize, was never a part of my life. That's the saddest thing to me because I think I may have liked that guy.
Enough with the ranting... on to some photos.

Of course Diesel is chilling.

Wing shot with the Columbia and freighters.


Going to Denver for the memorial service meant hanging out with these great people - Steph, Jerry, and Amanda.
We played an intense game of Sorry! and followed it up with some battle of the sexes questions that ranged from obscure to borderline retarded. No matter though because any time with this crew is good. Especially when Jerry makes the pillow his hat.

Amanda lives in "LoDo" and has this view of the baseball stadium. This has started an obsession with the Rockies.

This is Higgins. He belongs to Jerry and Steph.

Just random.

Junk warehouse.

Double decker bus carcasses.

The 1968 SAE fraternity photo that includes my dad and many that came to the service.

It was fun matching these faces to the photo above.

I was in Denver for less than 48 hours. So back to the plane.

I love getting this view of Mt. Hood when returning home.

And what better way to spend Sunday than rocking out with Chromeo?

It's off to Montreal for work for a few days this week, returning to Portland, and then steering the car back North to Canada with Amy and Diesel for the summer trip to the Okanagan.

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