Today is 8 months… 8 months since Duane took his last breath. 8 months of him no longer suffering. 8 months of my best friend being gone.
Some of you may not like the beginning of this post, those who really knew Duane get it … the rest of you … read it to the end.
Duane was never a big patter-on-the-backer. It took a lot for him to tell you (especially me) that you did a good job. I only heard it a few times. He expected a lot, from everyone, but especially from those close to him, from those he knew he taught well. He expected you to listen and learn from him. But he held himself to an even higher standard, expected even more of himself. He was a teacher, but he was also constantly teaching and learning himself.
Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram (captain_victoria) know I recently bought a new Pontoon boat. I painted it pink polka dot and it is essentially the Pink Pontoon II. I LOVE it. I was taught by the best. I had to peel of the decals, acetone off the glue, sand it, pressure wash it, paint 3 coats of the base pink, draw the polka dots and then paint 2 coats of the polka dots…that isn’t even including the bedazzling. It is a labor of love. (Love is ALWAYS the secret ingredient – in everything).
I am going to share something here that I have only told a few people…
I spent a lot of time working on this boat. I dug deep in my memory banks, deep in the tool boxes, asked questions of people I knew had answers and went to work. As I was peeling of the decals/ stickers I hit a snag… I could not get them off. I went back in time, thought about similar situations and headed for the bottom drawer of the tool box. I grabbed a long extension cord and the heat gun and went to work.
As I was getting in the groove, dancing to my music, heating the decals up and razoring them off the sun rays started coming though the trees… I noticed how amazing it looked, like heaven was opening up. As I refocused on the boat I felt a hand on the back of my shoulder blade, a pat on my back. No one was there … well someone was, only I could feel him though.
Not often, but every once in awhile I get a sign. A sign that I am moving in the right direction.
– xoxo Victoria
**** The above picture is one of our absolute favorites, we always had it in our home. We said it looked like heaven. I took this picture, on my iPad, at Sand Hollow Reservoir in Utah probably in 2010. Duane and I went evening/ night fishing there. I got Swimmer’s Itch in my eye, we saw the most epic thunder and lightening storm (it was so bad Duane left the boat on the dock, with all his rods and electronics and carried Gracie to the car to make sure she didn’t step in a puddle and get electrocuted – he really loved her) and found a 24 hour Robertos in the middle of no where. That was a memory we always, always laughed and talked about!