Dedicated to Some Amazing Children Who Have Touched My Soul:
To Josh: Explorer, Brother, Grandson, Friend to Many, and Son. I spent many nights under the stars praying for you to get well. You had such a gentle, sweet soul. You were not in this world long enough; in life, you changed lives for the better. In death, we learned what sudden loss of a beautiful soul felt like. You are not physically here any more; your impact is. I am grateful for that. To my oldest grandson, Brady: For nine years, we have been companions in curiosity. We have learned about tide pools by studying them first-hand for so long. You are my favorite kid to take to the ocean. Your risk-taking (and mine) has taught both of us there are some boundaries we should not cross. Your understanding of creating habitats, and being blessed with many delightful creatures because of it was a gift from me to you. You gifted me back when you showed such compassion for stranded starfish. Remember the mourning dove fledgling you took away from some kids who were going to kill it? You tended it at our house until it flew away. We have had some amazing adventures. I will never forget having to slide down a cacti-filled dirt rut because you just had to pick the hardest mountain trail at Hart park. And perhaps the coolest thing about you is all the 'found objects" you bring to my house to save because your mom calls them "junk." To my very favorite second grandson, Callum: I wish I could write down every word you have said. Your naughtiness is ten times worse than your mom's. I am so glad for that. You have such a delightful perspective on life. Your heart is filled with such love for your family and friends. You keep papa and me entertained almost every day, because we quote something you said. And then we burst into laughter. I hope you and I will have some adventures of our own. I want to teach you to build a dam that really makes a deep pool for swimming. I want your hands in the tide pools. I love that you pick up almost every rock you see! Take care of that collection I started for you. Not many kids have a squid fossil! To my new granddaughter, Calliope: Too soon. You are growing too soon. But that is good. I have lots of plans for you as well. We will walk every day, and Amos will come too. We will make up stories with my art blocks, Hot Wheels, and painted rocks. You will be an explorer, and have a curious mind. I just can't wait for our journey together to begin.