After we had had made the decision to move to Taos, I kept going back to the memory of going to get wood with my Father, brother, sister, and great uncle felix. Of all of the things to be excited about, going out again was what I was most excited about.
Yesterday I packed up my fathers truck to go harvest cedar fire wood and went out this time with out them. I am at this strange point where I am bridging the gap between child and adult, where I am no longer the one going for the ride. My brother is in college in Albuquerque, my sister and dad were watching over Felix who for the past few years had been battling countless problems, as he had just came home on hospice.
It was a beautiful day, the sky's were clear and the sun was out. While I was about to make the turn into the forest I got a call from my sister, at first I couldn't hear what she was saying, but I knew exactly what had happened. My great uncle had passed away at the age of 67. As I hung up the phone there were conflicting emotions, at first I was sad I wasn't there with them, but immediately after I realized there was no where I would rather have been. Felix had been like a grandfather to me, my real grandfather died when I was young, and was probably the smartest man I knew. He would help me with home work and answer all the crazy questions I would bring hime. He was the brother to a family of mostly women, all of which grew up poor here in New Mexico, he nor any of his sisters owned a car, or even knew how to drive. They all walked to work and almost worked every day no matter what and always had the biggest hearts despite there lack of material goods. Despite him being gone physically he will live on in these memories in me.
I was able to spend the passing of his life in the place that my fondest memories of him were. A sense of ease had taken over me. He had been suffering for the last few years, unable to drink, unable to eat, barely able to talk or move, he was ready to go and now he is at peace. For the relentless truth that we will all die, I stopped and said my goodbyes, offered corn meal, and burnt cedar to help his soul on it's journey. I smiled remembering all the good things about him, took this picture and wished him a nice journey, thanking him for all that he taught me.