Goodbyes and Hellos

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All the driving was definitely worth it recently. The funeral service for Pike was very nice despite being very overwhelming. I am glad we attended and got to hear the beautiful and touching eulogies. Pike’s sister and mother had great speeches and it was wonderful hearing from his friends, family, and team mates. It was great to hear about Pike’s life and the famly and friends that made him the man he is today. Anyone could agree that he was brave, humble, honest, and always put others before himself. Pike certainly made a positive impact on many lives.

There were a few poems read that were appropriate for the service as well as very touching.


The Dash
by Linda Ellis copyright 1996

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone,
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?


The Traveler
By James Dillet Freeman

He has put on invisibility.
Dear Lord, I cannot see—
But this I know, although the road
And passes from my sight,
That there will be no night;
That You will take him gently by the
And lead him on
Along the road of life that never ends,
And he will find it is not death but
I do not doubt that You are there as
And You will hold him dear.

Our life did not begin with birth,
It is not of the earth;
And this that we call death, it is no
Than the opening and closing of a
And in Your house how many rooms
must be
Beyond this one where we rest

Dear Lord, I thank You for the faith
that frees,
The love that knows it cannot lose its
The love that, looking through the
shadows, sees
That You and he and I are ever one!

Goodbye to Good People

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A big thank you to Justin’s Cousin, Peter and his wife Sue for letting us stay at their beautiful home on such short notice. And for the delicious food and yummy treats.


USS Cleveland reunion and a group shot for our fallen hero.

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The memorial party afterwards had great food and even greater company. It was nice to get together after years of being apart and departing from the Cleveland. Always appreciate your friends and make the time and effort to keep then involved in your life. Plans are already in the works to meet up again next year under better circumstances.

On the Road Again

The drive home was VERY long, dark, and foggy. We ended up bringing home one of Justin’s shipmates from the Cleveland. He was great company and kept Justin alert and awake while driving until we reached El Centro where we dropped him off. We left Arizona at almost 11pm and got home close to 3:30 in the morning. Neither of us slept (obviously not Justin) & bed time was a must!

Home Sweet Home

It was bitter-sweet to be home and in our own bed. I couldn’t wait to see my little buddy in the morning. However, since Justin and I got home so late, my mom decided to stay over one more night and occupy Austin in the morning while we got a little sleep.

Hello, Handsome

We ended up only sleeping a few hours and I called my mom to bring Austin back home. I missed him dearly, but apparently he had WAY too much fun with his Grandma because he seemed unphased to see Justin and I. It was a little saddening when he didn’t run into my arms, but I was just happy to have him in my company again.

We had a pretty mellow day here. Austin and I napped while Justin finished up painting the master bedroom. I am so happy to be together as a family again!


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This whole trip has made me even more appreciative of what I have and more conscious about how I want to raise Austin and the man I hope he grows and matures into.

Life is short and it doesn’t really matter how long or short you live as long as you live your dash to the fullest. Pike will be missed, but he and his family have forever changed my life. So, today I will love a little deeper and make sure my family and friends know just how much they mean to me.

XOXOX, thanks for being part of my dash.


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