My baby brother died two weeks ago. He was 52, had just gotten married five days earlier to a woman he was really happy and in love with. His youngest daughter was/is about to graduate from the Naval Academy and begin her new life. He was an amazing father and mentor to so many people in his community and he was funny and sweet and a good son. He took care of my mother these last few years.
I flew to Florida and helped his widow make “arrangements”. Spent a few very intense days dealing with all kinds of family issues and am now trying to settle into the idea that he is really gone. Not an easy thing this grieving. It takes it’s own time.
The Monk came to be with us and I am forever grateful for his presence in my life. He guides and steadies me. We’ve known each other since we were kids so he knows me and my family as well as his own. Knows every skeleton in every closet. What a blessing. He knew my brother well and loved him.
Tearful drove across the country like a madman to be here with me. He had his own profound and solitary adventures along the way. It’s not how we planned to spend this part of our journey but here we are. We’ve come to realize this is all part of the journey. Every wonderful encounter, every devastating heart break. This life on the road has one amazing aspect I did not imagine. It makes me feel awake to every moment, good and bad. No two days are alike. It makes the world seem fresh and new and fluid.
We’ll be here for a few more weeks before we head back west. There is not much in the way of “wild” camping here in Florida. It’s the high season so all the state and county parks are booked solid. There is no boondocking to be had anywhere near where we are so we’ve been staying at private RV parks. I don’t have many positive things to say about them other than you can have all the water and electricity you want and it’s not freezing but it’s not warm enough to take advantage of the pools. On the plus side there are plenty of Latin restaurants around so I am having my fill of Cuban and Puerto Rican food.
RIP Mike. Love you forever bro.