I can see it now, a headline in the newspaper, “Woman Hospitalized After Suffering from Severe Dehydration Due to Excessive Crying.” I thought I had let out all of the tears possible this week but I guess there were plenty more where they came from. Are they all out now after Mark’s funeral today? I don’t think I’ve shed the last tear for Mark yet.
This morning as we were leaving the house in Grand Marais a bald eagle flew over. I immediately thought, “That’s Mark making sure we’re on our way, wondering if I needed any help bringing stuff out to the car.” I’ve never seen a bald eagle right in town in Grand Marais. We’ve seen them on the shore and we of course see them on the Gunflint Trail and in the Boundary Waters but it was unusual to see it fly over our house. On the way to Duluth Abby spotted another eagle which isn’t quite as odd but it made me think it was the same one, following us on our journey.
I imagine I’ll think of him when I see a fox. I’ll probably think of him when I see a moose too and possibly a bear and when I catch a fish. I’ll most likely think of him when my car is due for an oil change and how he would try to shame me into getting an oil change if I had over 3000 miles on it, or 5000. When I’m trying to figure out something with my depth finder or my boat motor I’m guessing I’ll think of him then too. And when I walk into the lodge I will expect to see him on the couch. I’ll be waiting to hear him greet me and get the update on the wildlife or how much rain we got.
There were a large number of familiar faces at the funeral. Cabin owners, our local conservation officer, Mike’s brother, Gunflint Trail neighbors, some of our dear friends and many of our Voyageur Crew. It was nice to see so many of them there. I didn’t think about a picture until after Mike and Ashley, Dave and Bonnie, Scott Prom, Chad Autio and Mike Irwin had already left so they aren’t in the photo. I wish Mark could have been there. I’m sure he was there in spirit unless of course the fish were biting in heaven.
Thank you to everyone who was at the funeral. Thank you for sharing your stories and showing Mark’s family how loved he was by all of us. Thank you for the hugs too. I’ll try not to shed too many more tears but I can’t make any promises.
Front Row Left to Right: Me, Adam Maxwell, Luke Yaeger, Abby Prom, Ryan Ritter
Back Row Left to Right: Mike, Matt Ritter, Tony Krusenbaum, Hannah Koivu, Mike Swenson, Paul Swenson, Evan Gates, Tessa Johnson, Charlie Drilling, Josh Prom, Tessa Olson