As most, or all of you know by now, I have been home from New Hampshire for about a week now. A week of getting back into the groove of real life, but also a week of trying to figure out how my trip went, and where I want to go now that I am back. To collect my wits about me and ponder all the things that went on while I was there.
First of all the trip itself was hard. Both of my planes were packed and there was not an inch to be found anywhere….. but enough about that, let’s get to what you all want to know, what I need to tell you, as family, as friends. I have sort of separated my trip into 2 parts and you will find out why in a minute. We will call the first part “the first two days” and the second part ” the rest of the week”.
The First Two Days
I will be honest, they were hard. Everywhere I looked I was reminded of 2 things. First that I was there and he was not. Which to me was just wrong, and sad. Secondly, I was reminded that this place, this farm, the town and it’s inhabitants were people that knew a very different Patrick than the one I knew. They knew Toddler P, they knew Pre Teen P, they were around while he grew up and came out and helped shape him into who he had become by the time I met him. I suppose some might say that I was jealous of that fact, I think it was more envy. Every tree, every road we drove on, all the things I saw seemed to scream at me ,”Yeah you may be here now but I was Patrick’s first.” Yeah, the first 2 days were hard, but then we moved past day 2, into day 3.
The Rest of the Trip
On the morning of day 3, as I was sitting out on the deck at sister K’s house,still all wrapped up in whatever it was I had been wrapped up in the 2 days previous, something weird started to happen. I started paying more attention to the songbirds, the bleats of Sheep lamb and goats, and the sigh of the wind as it blew through the trees. As I focused on the sounds of the farm around me I got a lil dizzy, light headed you might say. It’s hard to explain, but you know the feeling you get if you stand up too fast from a low position, or more like holding your breath for so long you can’t take it anymore and you have to gasp to take air into your lungs. Yeah it was kind of a combination of those. Little by little the song and sounds of the farm got louder, the air warmer and the sun a little brighter. You may all just be shaking your head by this point and saying what a loony man, but I know what I felt. I would like to think it was P coming to tell me everything was going to be okay, or P’s mom thanking me for loving and taking care of her boy. Maybe it was a bit of both. I truly do not know but I can tell you that those moments were the turning point of my trip. From that point on my thoughts were more of “look at how much beauty he was surrounded with everyday” and “see how much these total strangers are being nice to me just for the sake of having shared Patrick”. I could truly see how loved he was in his community, I hope he knew that, I think he did.
On Friday I got to meet a dear dear friend who I have spoken to for over 3 years but had never met. We spent the day in the town of Wolfboro,NH taking in the sights, being buffeted by strong chilly wind, having lunch at a deli called Fill my Belly Deli and hanging out on the lakeshore eating statues ice cream cones. K again I thank you for your time, support and friendship.
The rest of my time was rather uneventful, except of course for the following.
Sundays memorial could not have been nicer. The place was packed full of people who had known Patrick most of his life and had come to support the family, and, to a certain extent, me as well though they did not know me. It was great seeing Ryan, Shannon and Kate who had all made trips from Connecticut to say their final good byes. Also what was very touching was how many of his old schoolmates pulled me aside and shared stories, pictures, Yearbooks etc. I was able to meet the last 2 Moore siblings who, of course, welcomed me in to the family as easily as the others had years before.
On Monday we focused on some more dutiful things. We took some of P’s remains and placed them in his mother’s grave. Later that day, we planted a bush that a friend of the family had brought to us to commemorate P’s having been here, again we sprinkled his remains in the soil as we placed the bush lovingly into it’s new home. The bush has been christened The Patrick Bush (kind of like U2’s Joshua Tree). Later in the evening J, K, A and I took the truck into one of the higher pastures and sprinkled more ashes liberally into the wind, in the presence of about 8 wild turkeys. The next day my trip was reversed and by midnight Tuesday I was home again.
I wrote this post today because as I was sitting at home tonight watching Castle there was a monolouge that really struck home with me. Yes corny as it may seem Alexis Castles graduation speech rang true. I am taking the liberty of posting it as well, with some modifications.
Alexis said ” There is a universal truth we all have to face, whether we like it or not, everything eventually ends. I have always disliked endings, the last day of Summer, the final chapter of a great book, parting ways with a close friend, but endings are inevitable,the leaves fall, you close the book. We move on, we say goodbye to all that was familiar, everything that was comfortable. But there are some people who are so much a part of us they will be with us no matter what. They are our solid ground, our North star and the small clear voices in our hearts that will be with us always.”
Some number of years from now myself and whoever I have the honor of being with meaningfully again will be sitting in a restaurant, or perhaps on our porch drinking wine and I will hear a small clear voice in my heart telling me to kiss my partner. I have no doubt that voice will be Patrick’s.