The Perfect Rainy Hike

At approximately 11:20 am, my dad and I were atop Mt. Sugarloaf at Newfound Lake, NH in the pouring rain. I spread a handful of Mike's ashes over the edge of the cliff. I hadn't been up to that spot for 5 years, I think. It was our first trip to NH and I was excited for him to see my very favorite spot. He loved it.
It was nice carrying him in my backpack.

I spread the ashes, had a couple of sips of water, and talked to my dad for just a couple of minutes about how crazy it is that each time one of these milestones is reached, I think... aha... now I can have Mike back. But no. Nothing changes. The milestone comes and goes... and still...he's not here.

So, we hiked down the mountain and about half way down came upon this amazing sight. A huge tree had been shattered and splintered apart by lightning... and it must have happened in the past couple of days the wood looked fresh and alive (see photo at right).

The tree had literally exploded from the inside out and had sent these giant shards of wood flying many feet in all directions. Had anyone been around when it happened, they clearly would have been impaled by these giant wooden-swords. Nature is pretty freaking random, i suppose. As Mike said, "It's just random, smoosher."

Then, a few feet down the trail, I felt my phone vibrating in the backpack. In the middle of nowhere. Pouring Rain.
Caller ID: Kevin.

Perfect timing, bohddy.

So, we chatted the whole way down the mountain and then some. He and Beth are in Ocean City and are planning on toasting Mike with a Dr. Pepper later on tonight. Perhaps... if you're looking for a way to say hi to Mike tonight... just do a lil' Dr. Pepper toast. He would love that.

I love you guys. Part of me wishes I could be at OShea's tonight... but I also think that people might enjoy being able to think about Mike without the sort of intense energy that I bring to the table. I feel like when I'm around people sometimes think of Mike's death as "Danna's" thing to experience. But... it's not. Mike belonged to all of us. And for that, we're super-lucky.

And PS: My passport arrived at my NH doorstep today. So, tomorrow I leave for Paris.


Anonymous said...

Have been thinking of you and Mike all day, Danna. It's raining here, too.
Have a fabulous, fabulous time in Paris--such a gorgeous city of lights and memories. Peace, peace and love,

Megan and Michael

Anonymous said...

We are having some strange weather here (Phoenixville) today; just like 1 year ago although no where near as extreme.


So happy for you that the passport arrived...today...!


Have a gorgeous time in France.

Amour, Marianne

Sandy said...

Raining in Phila too....possibly on Sansome St.

Peter said...

I spent part of today listening to sound clips of Mike (including one you circulated, Danna) and looking at the many pictures of Mike that shutterbug Larry Freedman scanned and sent a while back. That was fun.

Alex and I wish you a tremendous time in Paris, though if the passport hadn't arrived the view from your parents' place in NH looked spectacular indeed.

Kirk said...

That's a beautiful spot you picked. Mike would be happy.

Enjoy France (and I just said that in the worst French accent I could muster). We'll talk soon.

Kate said...
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Kate said...

Jeff and I have been thinking and talking about you and Mike all week. Jeff has been visiting your blog regularly and keeping me updated, while I've been in the NICU. Sugarloaf is stunning. Just wanted you to know that you, Mike, and Baxter our close to our hearts.

== Kate