(Joyful Mysteries Note: I met Emily when Dyp and I were brand new- they lived in the same big Christian Co-Op on campus. What I didn’t know at the time is she knew so much about me, that she was praying for our relationship from those early stages. We really became friends the following year when I moved to Oregon and she was his roommate in a big green house. We took a road trip together on a Friday night in my Toyota Celica to Washington. We were both obsessed with the song “Livin La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin- and it came on multiple times during our trip. That day our friendship was solidified beyond any shadow of a doubt. Em and I have been through…a lot. Personally and together. And even when weeks or even months have gone by and we sit together it’s as if no time has passed. In many ways she and I know Living the Crazy Life better than most. But we also have a fierce faith that has been our saving grace over and over again. I figure that’s what has given us our street cred. She’s come to my house at 1130 to set a mouse trap when Dyp was out of town and the mouse ran out of Graces room and Dyp refused to drive home from Seattle. I love her so much and her real today has wisdom…people are on our heart for a reason, seek them out, and always pray for them. Thank you my dear Emily. 


July 12, 2015 Saturday


Chief Bald Eagle this is Princess Flaming Hair. Do you copy?

Chief Bald Eagle are you out there? Is it true? Are you gone from this earth?


I wish. I wish I would have tried harder to find you when your Christmas card came back a few years ago. Tried harder to track you down. Kept in touch. Let you know how much you mean to me. Did I ever? Did I ever tell you how much you meant to me? Tears today when I saw you in your dress blues on the Obituary page.


You with your big grin and your bag of candy. “Hey little girl, would you like some candy?”… and then that big belly laugh that was just absolutely contagious. The friendship that was kindled in the very dead of night on the graveyard shift at the plywood mill out Prairie Road. I was just hired on after my temp summer position and went straight to the night shift. They put me up on the patch line with you. Oh boy, what have I gotten myself into? More laughter. And the kind of conversations that take place late at night and in the very early morning when the rest of the world is sleeping. Conversations that transcend. Small talk has no place at 4am, only laughter and substance.  


Your bald head and big grin and worn overalls but mostly your conversation. You were a talker. Big Time. If we weren’t separated by forty years I can bet the house we would’ve been the kind of friends who’d have been kicked out of class for talking too much. But some how even four decades made no difference for our friendship. You were inquisitive and interested. Hungry to know about people. Where they came from, who they were. I come from people like that. We were fast friends. You’re a jarhead? No kidding so is my Dad! Passing the time on the patch line talking family history and life stories. You worked so fast. Could do your job with your eyes closed, never missing a patch. I fumbled and struggled to keep up, to catch the rhythm. Was glad when they moved me to the spreader crew. But I never missed a chance to say hello and catch up with you when I could. You loved to hear my antics and all about which trip I was going on next. I took the mill job in hopes to earn a pile of money so I could see the world. I worked for Georgia Pacific for 15 months and in that time I went on two pilgrimages. One to the Holy Land and one to Rome. I also manged to celebrate my 21st birthday in Las Vegas (a stark contrast to my church trips) and also fly back to New York for my uncle’s wedding that summer. Those 15 months were some of the best and most outrageous adventures I’ve had thus far in my life. And the friendship with you, Chief Bald Eagle was a highlight and treasure.


We kept in touch after my life moved on beyond my mill days. I got to know Nancy and meet a couple of your grown kids. In many ways you were like a grandpa that I got to have in my early twenties. Long after my real grandpas were gone. I was so honored when you told me you were inspired to become catholic and you wanted me to be your sponsor. I think Nancy thought you were crazy and really I don’t blame her. After 5 kids and how many decades by your side the woman is a saint and you know it. Well you know it by now anyway! She even decided to become catholic a year later with you by her side. I’ve never stopped praying for you two. I feel a lot of regret that I lost touch and didn’t fight harder to stay connected. I will find Nancy now and I will tell her. But I won’t be able to see that grin or hear that laugh of yours until I join you some day. Semper Fi and Rest Easy Leo and know that I will never ever forget you.  




a.k.a. Princess Flaming Hair

Emily is a Wife and a Mother and…she is also a kick ass friend. She will always pray for you, and hopes this will inspire people to reach out to those on their hearts and in their mind. Because it’s never ever to late to pray for each other.