Once again I made my annual pilgrimage to my home town of Willits, California and my sister's place at Trinity Canyon Lodge.
It was very different this time around. All of my friends were gone. My friends Allan, Michelle, Darlene and their families all moved away. Friends who I wanted to come couldn't. My childhood best friend -- who I should have visited last year but didn't -- passed away a few months before.
After hugging my parents and baby sister goodbye, getting into my car and driving away, for the very first time I stopped a block away and cried my eyes out. With so much death around me this year that it has hit me hard that sometimes when people say goodbye, it's permanent. All regrets become meaningless at that point.
For better or for worse, I do my best not to discuss many of the things going on in my life anymore. I have my reasons and I'm truly sorry. Still, I do hope I was able to convey to my family this time around how much I really do love every one of them.