Family members are another.
An expected part of life, but at the same time unbelievably hard.
Our family losses seem to come in twos.
Last year being an exception with one.
This week we said our goodbyes to my cousin, Patrick.Our Irish red head, our ranch manager.
A great horseman, a jokester.
The endless story-teller, the popular "Water Guy" of Somis, the popular ultralight builder and flyer.
The all around good guy.
The first to lend a hand.
The guy who let my niece drive a schoolbus on ranch roads... when she was six.
The guy who was famous for driving his VW van thru the smoke and flames on the news.
The guy that watched for brushfires and drove around protecting neighbor ranches with his water truck (equipped with illegal flashing lights)...
The guy who flew his plane UNDER the 118 bridge (I just learned that one at the memorial).
Only fitting to have his memorial on St. Patrick's Day.
With a wake in a barn.
With cousins playing guitars.Well two cousins and some guy named Bumpy playing a mandolin.
Cousin Steve (who makes guitars), Bumpy and Tomato (who is actually cousin John).
"Bumpy, Tomato and the Odd Guy"?
"Tom, Bump & Stevo"?
Ok, someone come up with a good name for these three!
When I was still in high school, John played in a popular local band and I used to sneak in to bars to watch them.
John never told anyone that I was underage.
And if I remember correctly, the band was named "Natty Bumpo".
So who was Natty?
Baby cousins ~ Megan, Meadow and Katie-Lake.
The bookends being the daughters of Patrick.
Meadow came from Tomato.
And always a ranch dog.
Glad I got my drinks before this...
And our second goodbye is to my Aunt Josephine.
Who passed away 10 days after Patrick.
Pat's Aunt too.
Here she is way back in the cool hat days, with my grandparents and great-grandma.So another double whammy for us...
This two thing has got to end.
We will always be expecting a second one now if we lose one.
The thing that sticks in my mind is how all this affects different people in different ways.
Four years ago was, what is the right word for this? Devastating? Heart-breaking? Crappy? too much for some of us, easier on others.
This year was easier for some of us, harder on others.
Sister, father then cousin, aunt.
For my mom?
Daughter, husband then nephew, sister.
For my Swan cousins?
Cousin, uncle then cousin, mother.
Cousin, uncle then brother, aunt.
For my Carter nieces?
Mother, grandfather then second cousin, great aunt.
Live life now.
Burn that pretty candle you received as a gift.
Drink that fancy bottle of wine you are saving.
Go camping before the cancer gets you.
Fly to Australia.
Somehow get to Peru.
Whittle down that bucket list.