I think of Alex every time I mow my lawn. I can’t help it. When he went missing, I spent the evening mowing the lawn and as I went round and round pushing the mower, I kept chanting….”just a scare, not a regret….just a scare….not a regret!” Alas, the news the following morning reached me that the results of the search yielded a regretful conclusion. I want to also acknowledge that I’ve been working on improving the state of my health, due to Alex’s writings about pushing yourself further than you ever thought you could go. At 62, I have found that old pains and limitations have melted, as I have kept his focus on wellness….of all types….as my mental image. Thank you Alex for being a guide to improving the quality of my life.
A Poem, translated by friend and neighbor Safa Shirazi
“My dear, when life brings sadness, it overcomes you, and will rob you of your sweet life. The patch of grass that is growing out there, is kept alive by mother earth. Pitch your tent atop it, and enjoy life now, for you too, will feed a new patch, when part of the earth.”
A Note from Jane Acker
I thought of you all yesterday and hope the Ashland service brought you comfort, lovely memories, and inspiring stories of your remarkable son. The time together in Corvallis was amazing–so many people touched by Alex in so many ways, making a beautiful mosaic of his time with us. I would not have missed it.On my way to Denver I ran across a New Yorker article about a poet whose own son died several years ago. He was been attempting to write that story, and this tiny excerpt struck me:I did not know the work of mourningIs like carrying a bag of cement
Up a mountain at night.The mountaintop is not in sightBecause there is no mountaintopPoor Sisyphus griefI did not know I would struggleThrough a ragged underbrushWithout an upward path
…Look closely and you will seeAlmost everyone carrying bagsOf cement on their shoulders
That’s why it takes courageTo get out of bed in the morning
And climb into the day.You both were so courageous on Saturday, and I am guessing that each day requires that courage of you now. I hope that the presence of so many attempting to help you up the mountain path offers some small measure of consolation, Love to you both, Jane
A Note from Meghna, Keith, and Mrinali
Dearest Pat, Buzz, McHale, and Adam –Our profound sadness is but a grain of sand compared to the ocean of grief you are feeling right now. Words feel empty and inadequate to express how devastated we feel, and how much our love for all of you burns brightly and grows.Alex is a beautiful soul. He will remain such in our minds and hearts. We stand by your side with love and support. He is present, forever.Tell us what we can do for you, and we shall do it. Tell us our silence suffices, and we shall remain quiet but powerfully mindful of all of you. Absolutely anything, at any time. Just tell us.All that feels right to say now, is that our love and support for you remains eternal, just as Alex’s impact and presence in our lives.“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.”And we shall endeavor to do exactly that.With love,Meghna, Keith, and Mrinali
A note from Aunt Marj
Hello everyone, I am Alex’s aunt Marj, Buzz’s sister. When Steve and I moved to Corvallis from Pennsylvania in 2007, we were fortunate to stay at Buzz and Pat’s home until we found an apartment. I had just retired as a massage therapist and Alex expressed a desire for some massage. He was a sponge for it. He was willing to try anything I suggested, Lomi Lomi on the table, Thai massage on the floor. And he was so curious, asking me questions about technique, and what did this stroke do and why was I doing that? Questions that many times I had no answers to but it was a very enjoyable time, just the two of us.
We had moved my father to Corvallis in 2006 and I was happy he would be with Buzz and Pat and whatever children were living there. I learned that Alex would ride his bike to his Grandpa’s, stand under his window and call Dad on his cell phone to let him know he was there to play cards. Because Alex is so engaging it makes me happy to think about the conversations they might have had. My father was a Dale Carnegie student and believed in the power of positive thinking, Alex also believed in the power of the mind. I read that Alex consulted his two dead Grandpas when he was riding the Lost Coast race in California, so maybe that’s something they discussed. When our Dad died Alex went to extreme measures to get to Corvallis from where he was living in Montana. He was a wonderful grandson to my father, it’s obvious by the smile on my Dad’s face in pictures we have with Alex by his side. Rest in peace, Alex, and in the knowledge you touched our family very deeply.