Here is his contribution:
It's like summer up in the North today, the kind of early Spring day when you can almost hear the cells dividing in the leaf buds everywhere in the woods, and so many chickadees are out they make a moving web of sound with their calls. Elizabeth and I took the girls for a hike through the commons up behind our house in town, up a street, through a couple large fields that look as though they were farmed not too many years ago, but are now open space owned by Traverse City, and into a field next to the city ski hill where we often fly kites in the summer.
The breeze moving over the grass (just starting to green), the blue sky, and the warm sun (almost hot today), made me think of times at the Farm, as this combination of elements often does, and while walking along the path, I starting remembering all those times eating corn on the cob under the old Chinese Chestnut tree with you and your mom and dad. I can still see that picnic table with the red and white checked cloth, still feel the rough underside of those planks we used to check for wasp holes. Remember that old round table (painted red) with the umbrella hole through the center? I had lots of memories to choose from: launching new apples from the ends of cut shoots, detonating plastic models with carefully installed firecrackers, knocking golf balls around in the side yard.
I remember too the sounds of our parents voices as they would sit in folding chairs in the yard and talk while we played. I was on the phone with my sister shortly after your mom passed away, and we were having these silences when I knew we were both replaying memories. I know it's been said, but I definitely agree: who we are is based in large part on our personal histories. And Beek and I were acknowledging to each other that your mom is one of the pillars on which we hold our understanding of who we are. I'm glad she passed comfortably, and that you were able to spend so much time with her during her last weeks. Beek said that it felt like an era had passed. It feels that way to me too. I can only imagine your experience. I'll miss her. It was great to be able to spend time with her in Virginia last year, and also to have a visit in early Feb this year. Here's a photo from that visit.