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Thank you for coming today to honor our son Alex and to honor our family. This is the home where Buzz and I raised our three children…McHale, Alex and Adam.

Together, we made this home…with all the wonderful and messy things that make family…all the birthdays, holidays, sleepovers, rites of passage. And the everyday business of life…making school lunches, dinner together each night, dragging the kids to church, doing homework at the kitchen table, tucking them in at night.

My humble part as a mother has been to teach my children to say yes.

Yes to tasting new food.

Yes to meeting new people.

Yes to smelling the flowers.

Yes to the sunrises and the sunsets.

Yes to trying new things.

Yes to gathering friends.

Yes to grabbing the brass ring of new adventures.

Yes to loving.

And for what little I have taught them…they have taught me volumes…about

Being still

Listening

Appreciating what we have

Being thankful for each day we are given

Following my heart

Letting it be

Simply having faith

Alex lived every day, every moment of his life with intention, with passion and with unconditional love. Love for everyone he knew or met…his family, old friends, new friends, perfect strangers. And love for this stunningly beautiful world.

Sometimes I think that Alex just couldn’t take a bite big enough of his wonder filled, magical world.

We found a yet-to-be-mailed postcard to his family in his van…Aloha from Durango! Having a great start to the gypsy Colorado road trip. Meeting up with old friends and getting in some truly spectacular runs. Feels like there are a few lifetimes of exploring and running to do here. Love, Alex.

I could tell you stories all day long…

About the day in second grade when the teacher called on each child to share their middle name and Alex without one, proudly stood up and announced Zander!

About his 16th birthday party when all the boys got into the dress up clothes and paraded down the stairs in drag.

About showing up at the start line of the Mt. Hood bicycle race with an old single speed bike, riders elbowing each other wondering who this crazy guy was…until he quietly passed them all.

About the day ten years ago when he was helping me plant a Japanese maple tree…he dug the hole slowly, as if preparing a bed, and when I went to place the tree in the hole he said, “Wait a minute Mom, you can’t just plop it in the ground.” And I stood in awe and love as he wrote a message to the tree, that it would grow and flourish and provide beauty and breath for us. He read the note aloud then burned it and placed the ashes in the hole THEN gently planted the tree.

About finding a load of firewood by the side of the highway in Ashland, borrowing a shopping cart from Bi-Mart at the nearest exit and carting it home.

About his recipe for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…two and a half pages long, describing every detail of the feel, smell and taste of the bread, peanut butter and jelly.

About the time, several years ago, that I came into the family room and he was sitting on the couch just being…I asked “Whatcha doin’?” and he said “thinking”. So present in the moment.   What a lesson

Yes, I could tell you more stories…we want YOUR stories. Hearing your stories is our nourishment…your stories of crazy adventures, meals cooked, rides shared, hikes taken, skinny dips in mountain streams and ocean waves, cooking up zany business ideas, hooting from mountain summits, sweating in hot rooms. We want all of your stories of how Alex touched your life and how he inspires your path.

We set up a website, the address is on the card you have, and we invite you all to send us stories, photos, your memories, your expressions of love. If you are asking what you can do, visit Alex’s blog…stories of his adventures, running logs, poetry, recipes, musings on everyday life, photos, words beyond the wisdom of a 33 year-old. Meet him for the first time, get to know him better, introduce him to a new friend or simply enjoy his reflections on this marvelous earth and those who walk it.

“We should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend’s life also, in our own, to the world.”

― Henry David Thoreau

Thank you for being present today.

Thank you for bringing your love and joy to this sacred place.

Thank you for loving our family.

 

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