So, is the #AviatorBrewing logo a P-51 with P-40 nose art??
I tried to get this up fast but I had the hardest time picking which photos, they are all amazing—source for more. This rainforest elopement is made up of all the right stuff.
This is so beautiful, I’m crying. I need a mother nature wedding.
Tonight, I listened to a radio interview of my dad from last fall, just to hear his voice. I miss him so deeply. It is such a difficult part of the human experience for me…for the single most important person in my life, the one individual dearest to my heart, to just be forever gone from my life. Yes, I carry his love and memory with me daily. Yes, I hold on to the wisdom he imparted and the lessons he taught me. But he is not here. I can never hug him again. I can never ask him about something again. I can never have a conversation with him again. I can never look into his eyes again. I can never make him laugh again. I can never go on an adventure with him again. Tangibly, in this life, he is gone. And the permanence of that only sinks in more with the passing of time. The finality of death is so surreal. I know that may sound strange to some, but it is. The empty place his death has left in my life can never be filled, nor can it ever be comforted by the notion that his death was somehow the greater will of a deity. Wherever others may find comfort, in whatever way that may be, good for them. I am glad that such beliefs bring them some peace. I do not wish that anyone experience pain more intensely. I sometimes wish that I could believe such things, too, as it would certainly be easier, but I simply cannot, and I would rather experience the pain of reality than be comforted by delusions. Dealing with death can be a lonely place for those of us who don’t believe in a grand reunion afterlife or that horrible diseases and deaths are somehow the grand will of a benevolent higher power. I do hope that somehow and somewhere beyond our realm of discovery and understanding, defying all logic, that his consciousness/soul/spirit carries on, and that somehow, one day, we might be able to reconnect. But I accept that the likelihood of this is not great. I can, however, at least take comfort in knowing what a positive and profound impact he left on this world, the vast ripple effect of which we could never hope to measure. And I know that part of him actually does live on in me, through both nature and nurture: part of his genetic code was passed on to me, his only blood child; he also raised me, loved me, taught me, and was the single most influential person in my life for 23 years.
This human experience is so wild and strange when you consider it wholly. It is full of many things which we cannot control, some beautiful and joyful, some terrible and painful, and everything in between and beyond. But is up to us what we fill the rest of our experience with. It is up to us what we do with it all, what we make of it. And while I cannot control or change that from March 18th, 2014, onward, my father is forever physically gone from my life, I can control how I let that affect my life. I will carry forth all that I learned from him, from his life, and from the experience of watching his battle with cancer… Life is short, and it can be taken from us at any time (even when you are strong, smart, and brave). Be kind. Be humble. Be honest. Seek truth. Strive to always do what is right, no matter what. Love with all that you have. Follow your instinct and passion wholeheartedly (even if others discourage you from it). Know that some of the best and most worthwhile things in life require a great deal of hard work and dedication, and that you will be stronger for taking on the challenge, no matter the outcome. Cherish those dear to your heart. Eat well. Be your own advocate. Live life to its absolute fullest.
We will only pass this way but once. It’s up to us to make the very most of it. And that, is certainly something my Papa Brown did. I intend to do the same. In ways, I am very different from him, but in others, I am much the same. I am proud to be my father’s daughter, and I am grateful for all the positive experiences and constructive lessons he chose to fill my life with while he was here. I am proud to carry on a part of who he was in my own way, to the beat of my own drum.
[I didn’t mean for this to turn into such a long post. I just started writing, and the introspection kept coming. It’s rather cathartic to tussle with all of these thoughts and feelings, to work through them as I put them into words, and to just sort of put it out there. Thanks to anyone who took the time to read all of this. I hope that, perhaps, in some way, it moved you, or at least made you reflect a little on life, death, love, and living with loss.]