Monday, July 13, 2009

Saying Goodbye



We spent the weekend saying Goodbye to a very special family friend. Really more family than friend. Dennis Barker was the father of Ross' best friend. He passed away very unexpectedly last October. His death was, and still is, very hard for his wife, 3 children and 4 grandchildren.

And it has been very hard for Ross. Denny was one of the most important father figures in his life. Ross misses him terribly. A great many people do. He was a special man.

So for such a special man, we had to give him a special Goodbye. It has been months in the planning, waiting for his family to be able to make the trip, waiting for the time to be right. This past weekend we all headed up to Heppner, OR for a weekend of love and loss.

Heppner was where Denny and his children and his friends made history as only you can do at hunting camp (or so I am told!) This weekend was full of history, full of laughter, full of tears, full of stories, because that is what Denny was known for...all of the above.

We spent time remembering Denny in pictures and letters that we all had written about him.


The kids played in the creeks.....


....looking for fish, catching snakes, floating leaf boats....


...picking wild strawberries.


We did camp crafts (of course) to honor Grandpa Denny (and to keep the kids busy).



Then, on the last day, we all carpooled over to a camping spot they had used during their hunting trips. The guys gave Denny a black powder salute.



Denny's brother gave a wonderful eulogy and most everyone said a little something that reminded them of Denny. About 18 of us (kids included), then hiked up to this beautiful spot (a little over a mile uphill). Ross, HotRod, and Denny's son and grandson had gone up the day before to find the perfect spot. They carved a bench out of some logs, gathered some rocks for a cairn.
One of Denny's granddaughter's found this heart shaped rock. And all the grandkids put rocks on top.



We all admired the view...couldn't ask for a better spot.
It was peaceful.
It was perfect.
It was Denny.

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