Monday, April 14, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day one hundred four ~ Trees and Tents with Houd

The last pencil stroke has been made.  This is my dear friend Dustin or Houd (short for Houdini).  I knew when I started my 365 days of drawing that I would be drawing portraits of my dear departed friend and my family that has passed on.  His portrait started on day sixty-one.  I did not know at that time I would be incorporating the loved ones of my friends as well.  You can read more about the portraits ahead here.

A few weeks ago I was driving into the city to run an errand and as I was driving I came upon a man walking alongside the road.  He was wearing jeans, hat, long dark coat, had shoulder length hair and was wearing glasses.  After passing him and looking in my rear view mirror I nearly had a stroke.  My friend Houd!  I was sure of it.  Without thinking I immediately turned my car around and drove past him, after realizing clearly this was not Houd I felt a bit foolish.  My mind thought I saw him walking alongside the road, but my heart knew the truth.

Funny, caring, loving, witty, sly, mischievous, fun, uplifting, helpful, friendly, genuine, nature loving, animal loving, adventurous - those are just a sampling of words I would use to describe my friend. Usually found adventuring or discovering and almost always telling jokes or riddles.  A few Houd-ism's my husband and I love:

The best pickup line ever: "Hey does this rag smell like chloroform?"
Hey dude I need some help: "I got beer."
Dude what happened to your arm??: "Best way to pull out a tigers heart is through his teeth."

My best memory of him is shirtless at camp, barefoot, laughing with his dog Coyote by his side.

Even in death Houd continues to amaze us.  His ashes were sent up in a fireworks display at his memorial service at Camp Korb, May 2013.  After the fireworks started a smoke ring formed, then as the smoke ring floats upwards, a heart shaped puff of smoke appears above the ring and seems to "beat" as the ring floats through the heart!  You can view this beautiful and amazing video here.

Houd helped shaped who I am today.  He taught me that I was not alone, that I was loved, that life is full of adventure and fun.  He taught me that there is still magic left in this world to discover.  Even in the worst of times we could still have a laugh.  I learned that it is possible for someone to always be there for you, including in death.  There are so many things I love about him and miss that you can read more about here.  We even took him and Coyote with us when we visited the Jack Daniels Distillery Tour!

After he passed, his regular campsite at Camp Korb (check out my camping reviews page) was immediately turned into Houd's garden.  I can't wait to visit and see the growth this year.  Visitors are encouraged to find rocks and add them to the garden wall or contribute flowers, plants or memories.  I will probably take some foliage to plant in the garden when we visit this year.  A nice, comfortable bench is nearby to allow time to sit and reflect.  Keeps you from falling to your knees.  I know I get a bit shaky when I visit.  A mutual friend visited the garden on the anniversary of his death, Houd's dog Coyote just sat directly over the campsite.


His young life was cut short by his own hand.  I myself, contemplated the same fate many times in my younger years.  Having been at that point in my life several times in the past, I can relate to the yearning to silence the hurt and suffering.  Somehow I stood strong and weathered the stormy days and nights, but my dear friend chose to silence his pain.  I was so crushed upon hearing the news, the sadness is so deep and the wound is constantly re-opened.  There are days that tears just flood my eyes all the way to my soul.  I think of him nearly every day.  I often wonder why I was the strong one and survived, while my friend yielded and threw in the towel.  I long for my friend.  Some day we will meet again

Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.
~  George Eliot

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