October 31, 2005
Día de los Muertos
The Day of the Dead. All Saints Day. All Souls Day. By whatever name it goes by it's an intriguing Mexican tradition, remembering those gone but not forgotten.
I'm not Catholic, nor am I Hispanic. However it's a wonderful tradition to pause and remember family and friends who have passed.
Evelyn and James Woods (1986 & 1979), my parents. Seldom does a week go by that I don't think of both of you. Dad, I wish you could have met Denise and that both of you could have gotten to know Bailey. There's also so much I wish that I could ask you. Life is so... confusing at times -- it would have been nice to get your input on some things. I look forward to our reunion in heaven, some days I wish it were sooner than later.
Howard Woods (1992), uncle, and Margaret Warren (1989), aunt. Lazy summer cookouts with the entire family together over at Nana's house. Shooting pool in the basement over at Uncle Hotz's house. My first look at a color TV at Aunt Margaret's. As a child, never understanding why brothers and sisters couldn't get along but realizing, as an adult, why it happens. I still think that it's ten shades of suck, but I understand how it happens.
Pat Rampino (2003), friend. I've already posted about you here, but suffice to say that I still miss you. I got the fence project finished. I have a ton of new projects that I wish that I could consult with you on. Sigh... So much new music that we'll never discuss on this side of the sod, so many bad puns that will never be shared.
Steve Gaissert (2004), friend. Driving along the Florida coast in your red TR6 with the top down happened over half a lifetime ago yet I can still feel the wind in my hair and the smell of the saltwater. I still chuckle when I recall that British Leyland promotion at the Triumph dealership in 1976 -- "Tea for the Colonists." I remember the debates that we had about the Ford / Carter election, your scheme to get rich by selling "A Piece of Plains," third shifts spent in the computer room playing cards. Later, a short visit to Atlanta to introduce my new wife to you and much later, countless emails discussing everything under the sun.
Donnie Renfrow (1998), my first Texas friend. Blacked-out Cowboy games at your house via you dad's Cowboy antenna. Countless two-on-two football games in the street. Swimming at the Greenwood Hills pool. Spiderman comic books read on rainy afternoons up in your room.
We lead our lives, and when they end, the quality of that life is measured in the memories in those who remain. For each of these individuals who I was privileged to know, I remember the strangest things. A smile, a word of encouragement. Seldom an unpleasant moment. From a time when the world was still new and anything was possible to the present where experience has taught me that sometimes the best you can hope for is an even chance, these people were there and they touched my life.