5 years ago

Sunday, January 11th, 2009


My Life, as within Mother Nature, is filled with daily reflections. Inexplicable how the mind works, its flow constant with no rest takes away the words and places them on blank pages so often. What I see, feel, sense, is always in parallel with this river of thoughts that runs through, incessant, sometimes overflowing more than other moments. Symbols such as these, seen on this old battered and weathered Movie set we stopped has awakened so much of past memories 5 years ago. Life was not a Movie then, it is not today, and yet, it was a “set”, it is a “set” of its memories still so vivid as I wrote the other day…


It was a gray day in San Francisco 5 years ago. The door to his room was closed but I had spend enough time within to know its image as if I was still in it. The beige shade barely glowing from its 15 watt bulb was not bringing out any colors off the walls or for that matter only shading the few pictures resting on the dark wood desk within their now dull frames aging as rapidly as he was. The clouds were barely moving in their dense and dark forms through the window glass themselves framed in condensation from the warmth of the room in deep contrast with the outside now cold and its winds blowing with their faint howling, as calling in the shots of his path. The bright screen of a laptop always on was the only glow brightening the room, throwing its glare on the multitude of pills filled containers in their orange colors and shiny labels I cannot to this day stand seeing anymore. Some laying on their sides as his strength diminishing by the day not even capable of opening them if closed. Life’s end has its own smell, an odor so unlike any other and yet I never had to double guess its meaning as it lingered throughout his last days. How can the growth of such a beautiful body suddenly come to the peak of its moment, turn around and quit it’s forward path? How can silence suddenly makes up the fun filled and joyful days we had? How can simply today have nothing left from yesterday? Not even a glance, not even a touch or a look from those beautiful green eyes.

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Unspoken words… what do you say? how do you say? Truly… Who has the courage to even speak when knowing the days are counted? When we can’t even lock our eyes together by fear of a torrent of tears not able to hold back. Awkward when we only want to hug and hold on and hold on some more as maybe we could stop father time from moving on his path of destiny. We don’t wait, but we do because we don’t know what else to do. We want to see the suffering stop, one more pill maybe will help, maybe one more shot, but the door is closed and all I can think is what is he thinking? What does a 26 year old man thinking when he knows his time has unfairly come so sudden and so much on a rampage destroying everything so dear to him including himself. But it was silence, only the sound of silence, as we could not ask or speak for that matter. The mystery of his thoughts, the unsaid true meaning of his last looks lasting only for a glance as if in the wrong direction, what truly where they? I did not see fear, I only felt my own. Expressionless as nothing never felt before so much I could not understand what I still today do not understand as if I did I would have explained him. I cannot see that body taken back by time anymore, I only want to remember the strength of  my own genes passed on within this miracle of Life which did not last long enough. Reflections in his mirror only brought him his daily consternation, how else can a young man proud of his looks feels otherwise as ourselves enjoy even a simple flower blooming throughout its time.

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He asked me often how did he look. He asked me often if it showed. And as often as he asked I lied. And as often as I lied he knew I did.

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Seemingly the World has not stopped from turning, it might be turning even faster today. I am dizzy from the thoughts, I am tired from the toll, the lids opens up and closes up, some rays come in but never enough to keep the lights on. I feel as I am running and running to no end so afraid to stop and be draped by this dark cape reflecting in such darkness the images of his last days. The World seems so surreal, as I keep asking myself if everyone with such a loss “do they feel as I do?” and is it so much for themselves, or for the one they lost. I am now erased from it all I feel, only finding the Nature he lived within so often with an uncertain uplift as I promised him 5 years ago. The colors of the rocks have remained and kept their brightness, they have weathered over the years, their sharp edges are now dull, rounded and smooth a bit as us when we try to age gracefully when given the chance. His own jagged edges of youth were never given that chance and turned to ashes, colorless and Lifeless without the grasp of a chance to follow its natural path.


And yet throughout even his last days, his words were of wisdom as to hold us up, as his own sacrifice would give ourselves our own chance to go on allowing that wisdom trickling in our souls throughout our duration of the coming years we are allowed to be here. All cannot be just in vain, but what is the ulterior higher purpose of it all? There has to be one… all cannot be just in vain. Did his courage knew the unspoken words I seek daily? Was there a clarity, a distinct path clear to him that I did not hear or see and still do not visualize? Is there a sense to this all and if so, how can there be? His sacrifice and absence are the only reasons of my own path today, a path as a coin with two sides, a path as I know so many envy and yet, not wishing them even the remote adventures on the other side, the dark side, the painful side that fuels my unstoppable search for what I don’t even know myself.

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I didn’t know five years ago, I still don’t know today. I don’t know what I don’t know. Numb, still not within the grasp of its past reality as I seek to know, but to know what? The so many explanations I have been given maybe have made sense but never been associated with the true reality of the facts. Talk and thoughts, maybe logical to the mind, maybe the must old scriptures that are suppose to make sense, calm the spirits, smooth out the soul, I just cannot believe any as now, today, at this very moment, nothing can fool me about those beautiful green eyes. They have closed their lids for ever and no words is ever going to bring back the sparks that held us together for those short numbered years.

sun star b

It is as a path of “no matter” as I reach trying to accomplish something, anything that could fill the moments of the void. His courage has not vanished as much as he has, he is not letting me curl up in this corner to only wait to rejoin him maybe, another uncertain fact of Life. I am so proud of him, I know myself I would never had his own courage of his last days. 5 years ago. He is besides me at all time. He watches the same sunrises and sunsets, he rides along in the wind, he is warm when the fire burns, he is that single hawk that circles over me and lingers on a bit longer, he is that coyote that stands on the side of the road and locks his eyes into mine as we use to, he is that single deer that stands immobile in the near by bushes with no fear of my presence.


And yet, the mind cannot be the reflection of the body. The unreachable only is ahead of me, infinity, as large as the Universe can be, we will never connect again through our own senses, the ones we have been so connected with in the past. The ones that have made us as one. I wonder often where this path is leading to, my thoughts get scrambled so often, the road calls, Mother Nature awaits for me to show her beauty I am so thankful for as without her I don’t know where I would be. It is as she had sheltered him within her wings allowing me to feel glimpses of his presence, his presence now on the other side, I hope a better side and a happier one for him where he has been now for the past 5 years.

There are no words to describe how much I miss you Lance, we had a good run, I won’t let you down, it is not within my nature to do so.

Your Dad… always…   Ara

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14 Responses to “5 years ago”

  1. Dee Says:

    Ara, those beautifull sun set pictures that you capture,maybe that is Lance ,saying Hi Dad! Love you! You think? Dee

  2. david & susan Says:

    Ara…we feel your pain

  3. Debbie Says:

    Ara, Lance is only sad because YOU are. No matter how short a life God gives us on this wonderful earth, the treasures of God’s kingdom is our reward for being on this earth. Please keep in mind that God does not allow his children to be sad in the afterlife. The most wonderful gift you could give Lance is to let him know you enjoyed his company and are letting him now enjoy his with no guilt of your sadness. I pray to God for peace in your life. You have so much to live for. The enjoyment you give the people that are following your travels. The enjoyment of the wonderful recipes that you are passing on. The enjoyment of the beautiful photographs you have given us. The enjoyment of seeing Spirit so alive with you. The list goes on and on of the reasons God put you here on this earth. Lance had a purpose on this earth and he completed it and was then taken back into the arms of God. Your purpose is being fulfilled in another way. This is your purpose in Life. Your happiness will come. Least you never forget, but you have so much to be happy about.

    We love you and peace be with you,

  4. linda Says:

    You are a remarkable soul Ara, as was your son. Do you not think that it is he who you travel for and who introduces you to all you meet? That it is he who sends you down the paths you take and the sites you take in. Maybe that gentle nudge in your side to say “let’s get going.” You are right, he is with you and will always be. You are traveling this path together, no matter how far apart you seem to be.

  5. admin Says:

    As long as blood courses through your veins, your son will be a physical part of you. Part of what created him runs through you.
    I don’t know if you will ever find the inner peace to accept him not being with you or the answer that you seem to be searching for.
    You will travel and see beautiful creations and the wonder of nature and maybe think of a creator and thank him for the great one of a kind wonders you see.
    You should thank him also for giving you the chance of being the creator of someone who you loved so much and the wonderful memories of all the good times you and your son shared.
    It is obvious from your recent posts that this is a bad time of year for you.
    But I think you should try to dwell on the good memories and try to think happy thoughts of the beginning, and the years of growing, and becoming a man, and what he became in the time he had and how proud he was to be your son.
    I am in no way trying to be caustic or say anything to offend you. I know it can’t be easy.
    People who follow your posts and look forward to the next one care about you.
    Tomorrow is not quaranteed to any of us. We must cherish the good days, past and present, instead of dwelling on the bad.
    Your blog is a human interest story with lots of feeling and anyone who cares about their fellow man can’t help but get involved with your writings and wish you the best.
    I don’t get involved much with online people’s personal life experiences.
    But I kind of stumbled onto this site and read your posts and realized that this is a person who is giving all of us an honest look into his life and sharing thoughts, dreams, sadness, and daily life experiences.
    I commend you for being so open and honest and letting us be your online friends.
    I had my wife start reading your posts and she had to quit. Some of them made her cry. Now she just asks “how is Ara and Spirit doing? I hope they’re ok”.

    Remember, there are holes in the floor of heaven.
    For folks to look down through.
    Lance doesn’t want to see you sad and hurting.
    He wants to see you happy, doing what you want to do, chasing Spirit around, and seeing you smile when you think of the days you shared.
    And he can see himself still coursing through your veins and saying, “We are still together Dad. Maybe you can’t see me. But I’m always with you. Lets have some fun and enjoy life as best we can”.

    Thank you for the strenght you give me Robhu… as I quote your writing.

  6. Starla Says:

    A Beautiful & Haunting tribute to a Beautiful & Precious Life that was cut way too short. We have come to know & love Lance through you & your travels, Ara. He is with us always. Sending you a hug as I wipe my own tears away. Be well, my friend…Be well. Starla

  7. genete Says:

    Loved reading your blog today. Thanks for sharing with us for all these years. I agree with some of the other posters about the gorgeous photos that you capture & your son living through you. Hope that some of these comments from all of us that care for you will help bring you peace. We love you, Ara!!

  8. Colorado Kid Says:

    Ara, may you find peace, that which we all search for.

    It comes in the moments least expected, in the winged Harrier hawk floating on a sunset thermal, in the pigeon-blood agate you find in the drab arroyo, in the quick smile of someone you don’t know but who you connect with for one brief moment.

    There’s no rhyme or reason for when it comes nor why it passes so quickly, but even such moments can carry us a long ways.

    May you and Spirit make it through these dark days of winter and may it soon be spring in your heart and in the world around you.

  9. admin Says:

    A quote which truly belongs here…

    Blogs are, I think, strange – should I say entity, here – yes, entities. What starts as a daily journal, perhaps, begins to morph in some strange to something entirely different from what was intended.

    One of the interesting features of the internet is that people tend to interact with others in ways they never would face to face. They begin to open up – sometimes opening their souls to perfect strangers. A blog that was intended to convey one thing, I beleive, may turn into a mirror of one’s thoughts and, yes, even one’s soul.

    Whatever your blog has become, Ara, perhaps different from what you envisioned when you started, it has touched all of us in some way or other. Some will see your blog as a very interesting road trip; others may be inspired by what you write; for some others it may change their way of life.

    Safe journey – follow your path, and your hawk, to wherever it may lead you.

    Alex Burr
    Memphis, TN

  10. Louise Says:

    I hope it helps to know that your friends are thinking of you, sending you thoughts of hope and strength. Truly, we care about you and are humbled by your sorrow and memories. May you have more peace each day, one day at a time.

  11. Zelda Says:

    Hi, Ara,
    We are still here with you around your fire, although it is dark all around right now, we can all have faith that dawn will come. Although you can’t see many of our faces in the darkness around the fire, here is a hand and a squeeze to assure you of our presence. We see your and Lance’s faces only in the fleeting shadows in the darkness around the fire, but your spirits are present in the warmth of the fire. Yes, night follows day for a time. Dawn will come, you and Spirit will venture out to praise Nature’s wonders in those you meet and in your pictures, and Lance’s spirit will be with you, soaring above. We will be there, too, as you share your journey in your pictures and your daily musings.

  12. admin Says:


    Ara, the story of your son tugged at my heart and made me think back 10 yrs. I came to work that day as normal, I start very early and not many people are in the buiding at that time. One other person was and today her eyes told me a different story. I asked Karen if everything was alright which instantly brought tears to her eyes. We had been working in the same area for about 4 or 5 years now and there was a relationship built. Karen was about 15 years older than me with three grown children, 1 daughter and 2 sons. Her middle child one of the boys was very sick and it was uncertain if he would live. He was 22 yrs old at that time. After wiping away her tears she asked me to write he something. At times at work I had written things for others in good times and bad times. We talked for a very short time as I had to get the day started before everyone started to show up. She begged me again to write her something, I said yes what else I thought could I say and then I left.

    After a few hours when things were caught up and I was able to get back to my office I sat down and started to write. I didn’t have to think to hard of what to write it just sort of flowed. I wrote Karen a story knowing she was a religeous person and strong in her faith. I wrote a story where she would have to answer me a question at the end.

    Ara the story was about God speaking to Karen before she gave birth to her son. God asked Karen if she would come with him. God said you can only come if at the end you honestly anwser me one question, you have to be honest to me and yourself. She agreed to take this trip with her maker. He took her on a journey where she would see the life of her son. The first time she and her husband would see his beautiful face. The first time they would see him walk. Let them hear his first words, see his heart love for the first time. God showed her all that this young man would become, the loving son of parents so proud. Karen would know and feel all the love of her son’s life in less than the snap of the fingers. Karen’s son was a good, handsome and loving person and she saw all this before he was even born, shown to her by God.

    Now God brought her back, back to the moments befor her son was born. She was now filled with such love. God looked into her eyes and said Karen I now have to ask you the question and she waited. He said I will need your son in 22 yrs. He will have to leave your side and come to mine. I know this will bring great pain to you on that day and because of this I ask you this question “Do you still want the birth of your son”. If you don’t I can erase all this so he is never born, you never suffer his loss, this pain will never come your way. But remember the journey we just took will also never happen, this love will never happen in your heart. Again God asked “Do you want the gift of your son for 22 yrs”.

    I passed by Karen’s desk once more quickly telling her I had witten something but before I gave it she would have to promise she would answer one question for me, she said yes. Eventually I made it back to my desk and sent this to her in an e-mail so she could read it when she was ready. The version above is a much shorten version than sent in the email but covers the basic thoughts. Once I sent it I left my office to catch up on my work and didn’t return for several hours.

    When I was able to make it back I stopped by Karen’s desk, this was now very near the end of our work days. I now asked Karen the question, would you want the gift for 22 yrs. Her eyes were fighting to hold back tears but what I did notice the awful pain they showed only hours earlier seemed less filled with pain. They seemed to be filled more with compasion and love. She answered my question with a yes, of course. Karen told me she printed my e-mail and went to her car at lunch to read it knowing it would probably make her cry. She said she cried very hard while reading it but enjoyed it deeply. It filled her heart with the love of her son, it made her refect on all the good times her family had shared. Yes I’m still scared Karen said but thank you so much Rick for your words and time. Funny she was thanking me but yet it was I who felt thankful. It is in the moments we are able to help that we truly gain wealth. It is giving to another that adds to our life and for this I thanked Karen.

    Just to continue the story a little further. Karens son passed away in 2008 roughly 10 years later. Karen had left the company about 2 years after that day in 98 and I would only see her occasionally. At her son’s funeral she spotted me after the service in the crowd. There were about 4 or 5 hundred people there that day. Once she saw me she left where she was standing and headed straight to me and hugged me hard. I felt honored that she would take this moment to thank me but I also couldn’t help but smile in my mind. To all but Karen and her husband this would have appeared a little strange. We are of different races and religion and I stood out in the gathering. It made me smile and that she would take the time to thank me for coming, not worried what others may think. Her words that day were thankful for being there at the service and for words from the past. Life has so many gifts if we just keep our eyes and hearts open.

    Ara I hope you can draw daily from the gift your son gave you for 26 years it sounds like there were so many. As we all know and has been said earlier none of us know our last day and there is a reason for this. What we do know is that we will have a last day. Knowing this we should enjoy the gifts others bring to our life. Ara the gift of Lance will always sing in your heart, enjoy it….Rick

  13. Jim Says:

    WOW……Ara, you really have a gift with words. You have mastered the photography deal, time to write a
    book, Sir. Had to wipe the tears away several times to continue reading. Thanks for sharing……Jim

  14. Nate G. Says:

    Ara, thank you for this fantastic outflow of emotions, it made me think about the way I have been living my last 16 years as a human on earth, always living reserved, always saving it for another day. But this reminded me, of how quickly a life can change, and I thank you, for posting this, for helping me want to get out and stop thinking, and start doing. Start living, and stop watching.

    Ara, thank you so much,

    Nathan G.

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