It’s hard to believe that it's been three years since I last hung out with my brother. I shared that weekend with you before. And I’ve certainly shared this photo with you many times:
There are several reasons I’m so attached to this photograph.
- It was the last photo taken of just me and Jeff.
- It’s a damned good photo of us both. Jeff doesn’t look like a man who only had three months to live. Despite the cane, he looks strong and happy.
- We’re hugging. That might be the only photo of us hugging…ever. I think that act alone was a wordless way of saying we knew this photo was to be the best one.
- We were geocaching together…something we both shared a joy for at the time. (I’ve rarely been caching since his passing. One’s passion lacks, well, passion when the person you enjoyed it with has passed on).
- I like where it was taken.
The island of No Man is an Island
I had taken photos of other cache finds that day, but something told me that I needed to take our photo here. On this island was a picnic table on which to place my camera at the perfect angle. It was like the photo was meant to happen. After the photo, we found the cache in the lone tree on the island. We read the title. “No Man is an Island.” I smiled and said to Jeff, “kind of appropriate, don’t you think?” He responded that he agreed, and we did an awkward one-armed hug as I stabled his stance as we turned around to leave.
I reminisced about this day and decided to check in on this geocache on the official website. It turns out that mere weeks after we found this cache, the tree was cut down and the cache disabled. We were nearly the last to find it. It’s as if the geocache location remained just long enough for us to find it and have out last photo taken.
I wrote this piece on September 26, but wasn’t able to share my thoughts with you until tonight. Since then, my wife Kim and I shared our 17th wedding anniversary. The best man at my wedding was Jeff:
Jeff choking me..."Don't do it!" :)
Kim and I spent our anniversary (with the kids in tow) with a weekend at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. While there, we had the good fortune to meet up with my sister-in-law Debbie, Jeff’s wife. Debbie took Jeff’s death very hard…VERY hard. But I’m happy to say that she is well and loving life again. She’ll always love and miss Jeff…as we all will. I hope that Debbie realizes that no man is an island, and we’re here for her.
Kim to my right and Debbie to my left.