April 23, 2011

The word is out.  I’ve gone back home to New Jersey, where I plan to remain for I don’t know how long in order to take some time for myself and to be with my family.  It was a tough decision, but one that feels right for now.  Kurt has proceeded on south and you can keep up with his adventures at www.pocket-thunder.blogspot.com.  I continuously thank everyone for taking an interest in this blog and assure you this hiatus will not last forever.

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Currently I sit in the Ft. Lauderdale airport, stretching my legs between connecting flights.  Yes, indeedy… Kurt and I are making our way back towards our bikes, which have been waiting patiently in a hotel just outside the Belize Airport.  Our New Jersey time has totaled just around 7 weeks, making it a longer than normal home stay.  Speaking honestly, there are no two ways to cut the pain we all had to experience together as we gathered to lay my brother Shane to rest, the reason for the emergency trip home.  I will tell you that the healing has begun, but there is a long road ahead all of us.  That’s all I’ve got on that topic at the moment.

The rest of the time was certainly filled with beautiful and fun distractions.  Below is a smattering of photos taken while home.  When the dust settled, it felt good to get out my camera and capture images and feelings from a place that is so familiar, yet seemed totally new in its own way this time.  This was also Kurt’s first true experience with New Jersey and getting to meet my whole BIG family.  Just his presence was my sanity for the most part.

When we first arrived, the earth was buried in snow and frozen over.  We stayed long enough to see the effects of a harsh winter melt away.  We were able to share in the first little glimpses of spring, seeing the grass again and hearing chirpy birds in the mornings.

I look forward to sharing the other photos and stories I have with you in a bit.

 

The crust, showing off winter's hard work. Shoveling out a driveway is no longer an action accomplished with just a plastic snow shovel. We had to employ some serious gardening trowels to break through the icy layers...

One excellent morning routine. Kurt watching Animal Planet with Amber...

Kurt goes to work on the borrowed Pfaff. A fine german sewing machine, the master sewer of our group worked out some repairs and made some useful bags and pouches for our bikes...

We attended the first Lehigh lacrosse game of the season. The men have dedicated their season to my late brother Shane, who was a captain of the team during his time at Lehigh. Before the start, we shared in a moment of silence with the players, the fans, my family and many of Shane's friends and teammates who came out to show their support...

No trip home would be complete without a visiting Doylestown, Pennsylvania, the home of my friend Melissa and her family. Besides being a fantastic friend, Mel is also an extremely talented yoga instructor, artist and graphic designer. Here is one of her latest works. You can find more work of hers at her website, Mesa Enterprises...

Mel's attention to detail and love for all things oceanic never goes unnoticed...

Yes, that is a crumb cake that casts its own shadow. There was certainly no shortage of food being dropped off at the house at all times. Kurt and I did our best to keep up with it all...

Gahhhh! At one point we took a trip down to Philly and DC and were kindly lent my cousin's car. My hope is that more people will get the same itchy feeling I do from numbers like these. There's no time like the present when it comes to trying to make moves independent of the oil industry ...

 

We took some time with my mom's middle school class, talking about the trip and answering questions. It was great fun. The kids are extremely astute and shared their own great stories of traveling, bikes, animals, etc. These bright kids even joked around with Kurt as he took a sip from the water fountain outside the class, saying "don't worry, you can drink this. no problem"...

 

 

A little self portrait while hanging out and having some coffee and tea after a quick morning ride...

And Carina, who braved the commute between Brooklyn and Jersey more in the last 3 weeks than she had in the last 3 years. As can be imagined, the time spent with family and friends was the most special of it all...

 

 

 

Shane Patrick 1987-2011

February 3, 2011

Many of you may have noticed that there has been quite a delay in postings.  I am writing you now from the snowy depths on New Jersey where Kurt and I are currently residing.

In true sadness I must relay that we are home because of a tragic occurrence. A little over two weeks ago we received word that my brother had passed away.  Kurt and I were off the coast of Belize on a small caye.

There is nothing in the world that I can truly imagine that would be worse than this.  And yet, it is now our reality.  It has confirmed my largest nightmares, and even then, managed to go completely beyond.  The pain and sadness are immense.  My heart is broken. The same goes for everyone else affected by Shane’s passing.

My brother was true magic.  He has touched the life of every single person he came in contact with, from the day he was born until the untimely passing just short of his 24th birthday.  The love and support that has surrounded my family at this time is unbelievable and is only trumped by the love, support and honor that Shane has shown to each individual he has ever interacted with.

I could write you 1,000 pages on how amazing Shane was while he was here with us.  He was the greatest friend , son, brother and young man you could ever imagine.  He set the bar for how a person should be.  I greatly admired Shane and looked up to him, as I still do and will continue to.  I am sure I am not alone when I say that if you considered Shane to be on your side, nothing could go wrong.

With that said, I must convey how strongly that I feel Shane is still here with me and us every single minute of every single day.  Where he once before was this brother of mine who I cherished more than anything, living in Chicago, doing his thing, making his way in the working world, getting big in life and bringing joy to everyone he was interacting with each and everyday, he now is the brother who is with me with every thought, every word, every decision.  He is right there with everything I see, what I choose to say, how I choose to think.  He is with me and I know this.  I feel it.  Even with all of the love and support pouring from everyone around, the thoughts of Shane here with me now are the only things that truly help get me through these days.

I wish to encourage anyone else who is dealing with a similar occurrence, if it is pertaining to Shane or if it is pertaining to somebody else, try to feel this way.  Try and keep your loved one ever-present in your daily minds and actions.   One thing that I learned from our time in Mexico is that life is truly something to be celebrated.  This is the way that Shane lived his life, each and everyday.  I plan to honor him in this way and I encourage you to do the same.  Love your life, celebrate yourself and those around you, honor and respect each other and everyday and live your life to the max.

There are little pieces of Shane in all of us now.  I have seen them in others and I have felt them so strongly in myself.  They are the most pure goodness one could ever imagine.  Letting ourselves be guided by this, we are honoring Shane.

He always was and always will be my SP Ghost.  I love you Shane.

Kevin, Kelly and Shane, circa 1992 in Long Beach Island...

Shane, 2009, co-captain of the Lehigh Lacrosse Men's Team...

A memorial fund has been set up in Shane’s name for High Level Lacrosse, a company my other brother and some friends own and operate.  The company is soon to be renamed SPD Lacrosse in Shane’s honor and will continue to embody all that was and is the epic spirit of my brother.  If you are interested in donating or reading more, please click here.

Kurt and I will continue our journey in early March.  Back on the bikes continuing south, we will have Shane’s heart, determination, power and guidance with us stronger than ever.