hsifeng: (Am I Blue?)
These past few months, Death has seems a constant visitor to those I love. Never traveling near enough to crease my own brow, but moving in concentric circles that have touched many of those that I find most dear. When it comes, I often think of the letter below, posted from one friend to another upon the occasion of his beloved wife's passing.

I am not a religious person by nature. I am not drawn to a need for a dogma or mantra to guide my days or light my nights. But in the face of Death, I find myself hoping that the message of this letter is true; that those whom we love are not lost to us, that a joyous meeting will be had again at a future date not yet determined.

The public papers, my dear friend, announce the fatal event of which your letter of October the 20th had given me ominous foreboding. Tried myself in the school of affliction, by the loss of every form of connection which can rive the human heart, I know well, and feel what you have lost, what you have suffered, are suffering, and have yet to endure. The same trials have taught me that for ills so immeasurable, time and silence are the only medi­cine. I will not, therefore, by useless condolences, open afresh the sluices of your grief, nor, although mingling sincerely my tears with yours, will I say a word more where words are vain, but that it is of some comfort to us both, that the term is not very distant, at which we are to deposit in the same cerement, our sorrows and suffering bodies, and to ascend in essence to an ecstatic meeting with the friends we have loved and lost, and whom we shall still love and never lose again. God bless you and support you under your heavy affliction.

~Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, upon the death of Abigail Adams
 Monticello, November 13, 1818

hsifeng: (Default)
There are people who can take the everyday and make it extraordinary, all the while leading the way for others to follow the same example. They define an environment, an industry, a hobby. 

These people are amazing.

And then there is Kevin Brown. 

Kevin was an Disney Imagineer, he was the lead and muse of numerous ren faire guilds and acting troupes, he inspired hundreds (if not thousands) of fellow reenactors in *all* periods with his drive for excellence in every facet of our little 'game of life'.

Kevin passed away this past Monday, October 8th.

Often imitated, never replicated. And thankfully, with enough friends and followers to ensure that jewels of wisdom like the ones below have been preserved to be passed along to those who will never have the chance to know this amazing, happy, joy filled man.

Missing you already Kevin. But happy to spread your messages even if you aren't here to see it... 

Note From the Master - Kevin Brown, Part 1

Note From the Master - Kevin Brown, Part 2

Note From the Master - Kevin Brown, Part 3
hsifeng: (Sudlerin)

Invasion Stories:

1)   First of all, the weekend of Invasion was the weekend of driving hell. We started our traveling on Friday, heading from mid-CA up to Sacramento for a wedding rehearsal and dinner. Friday night saw us backtracking South about an hour to our overnight location, and then up until late, Late, *LATE* with the bride while hubby worked out final details for the ceremony (silly vows, why do you take so long?). Oh yeah, hubby was the minster at this shin-dig.

It’s amazing what $5 on the internet can get you (“Licenses to marry friends and relatives, oh my!”).

Then Saturday, the wedding. Wonderful event. Great friends (whom we love and adore seeing) in droves. Medium-weight organizational lifting on the part of hubby and me as we managed to take ‘Plan, What Plan?’ and force it to move forward on a timeline.

Mostly. ;)

Left the reception at 8:00ish and headed 2.5 hours South to home. Got in and attempted to sleep. Attempted being the operative word. Three hours or so later, we were on the road to LA for Southern faire.

OMG. There is a reason I haven’t done this sort of Mulit-Eventing Crap since I was in my early 20’s.

Screw it. It was SO worth it…

2)  Hubby and I showed up and after the normal amount of “No, You Have To Go Stand In This Line; THEN In That Line; THEN Go Through The Magic Gate” we stepped foot in the ‘hallowed grounds’ of Southern Renaissance Faire for the first time in nearly 10 year.

Despite a 10 years absence, quickly discovered that our friends were still ale-stand managers.

Free beer = THE BEST BEER! (Especially when it’s Bass and Guinness in ice cold pewter mugs).

3)  Upon arriving in camp we were swamped with familiar faces, hugs, kisses, offers of ‘Oh No Officer, That Is Certainly Not Off-Site Beer!’ for our mugs, food, stories, screams of laughter, feathers, leather, wool, slash-n-puff, old friends, new friends, HOLY FUCK THIS IS OUR FAMILY!, etc.

I have determined, as a result, that Heaven (if it exists) is one long, warm afternoon spent lazing in the shade with a cold brew, a pile of Landsknects/Frau, and Jessica telling one story after another with THIS look on her face…

Oh  Oh yeah…and a little of THIS thrown in on occasion…

And just to screw with the local English populations. Let’s take over the parade…

6)   4) Group photos almost killed me. The first one just sort of spontaneously exploded on the ‘front porch’ of the camp after the guys assembled for muster. The second happened after the Queen had been deposited on her stage after progress.



7)

Fuck. Yes. We. Are. Pretty. )

In conclusion, someday I want to grow up to be as BAD ASS as Shannon…



As Pretty As Jess...



And as Loved as Reba (I am so sorry you didn't make it out for this one honey, it would have been a hell of a send-off. RIP. *cries*)

hsifeng: (Am I Blue?)

Still missing you Eric.

Fuck these wars.

I want my friend back.

hsifeng: (Default)


Papa,

I miss you. This week has been harder than any since you passed. I don't think it is because of "Fathers Day" (although all the commercials on TV certainly reminded me that I wouldn't be calling you on the phone today), I don't think it was talking to Mom about cleaning out  your closet (although that certainly made the lack of your presence more permanent in some manner).

I don't know what it was.

But it illustrated the place where you are missing.

I think about you often; when I go on a run, when anyone starts a debate, when I hear a certain kind of effortless/huge/real laugh.

I am not sad, I am not lonely, I am not in pain.

But you aren't here.

And I wish you were.

I love you Papa.

~C
hsifeng: (Am I Blue?)

This past Saturday afternoon, family, friends and former students gathered to wish my Father bon voyage. We drank, ate and scattered his ashes from this highest point of the ranch that we call home. While we sat in my parent’s living room my Mother handed me a letter that she had found that morning, a final message that my Father had tucked away in a corner of their bathroom in the week before he passed.

My parents are stubborn people and fought often. As a result of the regular head-butting they did, there have been times I forgot how much they love each other. I think they forgot sometimes themselves.

And then this note, this love letter, this letter of thanks. All the things my Father couldn’t say in his last months of living and perhaps for years before that as well.

Rediscovering that your parents love each other; deeply, wholeheartedly and through trials unimaginable, is an amazing gift.

In the process of finding this week’s Wednesday poem, I stumbled across this. Reading it, I hear my Father’s voice in so many ways. It felt strange and wonderful and right. So I am sharing it with you.

 


waiting for death
like a cat
that will jump on the
bed

I am so very sorry for
my wife

she will see this
stiff
white
body
shake it once, then
maybe
again

"Hank!"

Hank won't
answer.

it's not my death that
worries me, it's my wife
left with this
pile of
nothing.

I want to
let her know
though
that all the nights
sleeping
beside her

even the useless
arguments
were things
ever splendid

and the hard
words
I ever feared to
say
can now be
said:

I love
you.

Confession ~ Charles Bukowski

 


hsifeng: (Am I Blue?)
When I got home from work yesterday, I found that the little man who lives in Pele's head had been running all over, switching things off.

I noticed her standing next to her bed in the corner of the living room as soon as I entered the house. She wanted to stand up and walk outside, but her left front foot wouldn't work. The leg moved, but the foot wouldn't land pad-side-down so she could take a step. I hoped she just had a leg 'asleep' from her resting so much recently.

So, I carried her outside and set her down. After getting her balanced and all her feet under her, she tried to take another step. Same result - the foot rolled under, her back legs gave out and she started to go down. I held her up for a few minutes, hoping that circulation would resolve the issue.

No luck.

I carried her back in (no poop, no pee) and made her comfy on her bed.

I lost if for a minute.

Hubby and [profile] bedpimp were at the movies, but I tried the cell phone anyway. Left a message.

Pele was resting without looking upset, so I put on a movie and curled up next to her. She went to sleep. I didn't.

Hubby got home and we reviewed our options. We tried getting her up and outside for another attempt at potty and walking. No go. Same result.

We came back in and set up the futon mattress in the living room with some soft blankets and a pile of pillows. That is where Pele and I slept last night, with hubby watching over both.

This morning, I called the vet. Dr. Brewer agreed to come by the house at 2:00 PM and to bring the medicine necessary to put Pele to sleep. We spent the next five hours loving on her, calling local friends so they could come by for a last visit, trying to keep her as relaxed as possible. Hubby, Fritz, Pele and I all curled up on the futon together: She slept, had a couple of 'chase dreams' (which I liked to watch), sipped a bit of water and then slept some more.

I took some time to thank her for being my dog, to thank the universe for bringing her into our lives, for letting us have these last few weeks to have her while she slipped away. To tell her I loved her and always will.

Abby Pet Hospital called at 2:00 PM, Dr. Brewer was on her way. Hubby took Fritz upstairs (I didn't want him to bite Dr. Brewer when she was being nice enough to come take care of this at our house), and we waited. At 2:10ish the vet came through the door. I was curled up next to Pele. Rene (Dr. Brewer) talked to us a little bit about her condition, hubby noted that she hadn't been breathing well that night while he was watching us sleep.

The needle came out, Pele didn't move until Rene had put it in her leg (a tiny yelp and a little jump - then she settled again). Rene did a slow push of a large volume of sedative. I had my hand on Pele's neck and felt her pulse fade out. She sighed once, relaxed and then stopped.

Tomorrow, I am going to buy a Thank You note for Rene and the other folks at Abby Pet Hospital. They didn't have to come out to our house to take care of us, but they did it without complaint, didn't charge us and have taken care of Pele's remains getting to the pet cemetary for cremation.  Those will be on the mantel along with Leopold's and Nichodemus' early next week.

I miss her already.

Someday I may own another greyhound, but I need to wait a bit - because right now any other grey would only suffer by comparison to my little baby.

Pele
Pele-a-mei
Pepe-la-mei-a
La Bouch
Legs
Skinny Dog
Bologna Tongue
Stripe
J Lo Booty

You are the best dog ever.
hsifeng: (Am I Blue?)

Taken from another friend on MySpace, there is no way I could have put it any better.

This weekend we lost a Hero: Not because he carried a gun, not because he put himself in danger in the name of a country. No, Eric Holke was a Hero for how he lived his life. He endeavored, overcame limitations and gave a love to those around him that inspired respect and return. He was a loving husband, a better father to a son than most could hope to be ... and a dear friend.

He will be missed and he shall never be forgotten.

RIP: Eric Holke
7-11-75 to 7-15-07

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