Visiting the Past

Where: Southwest Florida Coast
When: February 2009

Bodhisattva Maitreya Smiles in an Old Florida Home

My grandpa's death on February 14, 2009 at the age of 85 began to close a big chapter in my life. Not only had he and grandma been wonderful to me over the course of my 36 years, but they'd taught me many lessons about priorities and adventure. Afterall, they'd been the catalyst for me quitting my long-time Florida job in 2002, packing ship, and heading for the mountainous west to start anew. Quite an adventure, indeed, and my life hasn't been the same since. The seeds of dreams, they planted.

So when I got the news of grandpa's death in the wee morning hours of the 14th, I prepared to fly out that day to spend time with family, comfort my grandmother, and see some places I hadn't seen in the years since I'd left the white beaches of south Florida's gulf coast.

Despite the tears of our meeting, on many levels my reunion with family was a pleasant and meaningful one. Cousins, aunts and uncles, my mother, family friends, distant folks I was only just getting to know -

...we enjoyed each other, we went to the beach to the watch the sunset, we laughed and told stories, we played, we reminisced.