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24 hours of travel later and I'm back in the States. Actually, that was Wednesday and now its Saturday morning as I type this. I do not know how to appropriately and repectfully talk about an overseas trip involving the passing of my grandfather: someone I knew and loved as a grandson should. So instead of speaking about the trip I thought I would speak about the man.

It was interesting to hear the thoughts and memories from everyone that knew him. My father had written a letter to the Holmen family that listed various memories that had struck him in the time he knew Sigurd. One such statement was: "I remember Sigurd never complaining."

Never complaining. He didn't.

He really did not complain; and interestingly enough, this is exactly what I had independently said about him before reading my father's note.

I cannot comment on how everyone in the world feels about folks that do not complain. This is probably because we do not really know many folks that don't. The majority of us often retract into a self-centered existence that necessitates the constant accomodation of the world around us. Obviously it never works perfectly as such and in the end most of us find it hard not to let everyone around us know about it.

But Sigurd carried on with his life without trying to find too much pity from the world.

I also remember my mother telling me about she and he brother, Anders, eating dessert as children. My mother never knew Sigurd loved dessert until she was off in college. My mother's family grew up with tight finances. Tight finances mean less food. When asked if he wanted any of the limited dessert, Sigurd would shy away stating that he never liked the stuff. And his children ate away, not knowing otherwise until many, many years later.

And many, many years later my mother would make sure Sigurd got all the cake and ice cream he ever wanted.

Sigurd was also a man of movement. He rode his bike_everywhere. Otherwise he walked. He learned to ski at 75. He would grip me with a hug whenever I saw him that often revealed his hidden strength. His quality of life rarely wavered for the first 85 years of life. And he always stands out in my mind as a healthy man as a result of his everyday lifestyle.

I did not fly over to SVE in any state of mourning, nor did I experience any noticeable sadness in the two weeks leading to the funeral. Yet as I stood there on the morning of May 29th I shed many tears in the hour that we said good bye. You could feel the emotions throughout the whole church that morning. No one stood by with a dry eye. That is the sign of the passing of a loved man.

Less than 24 hours later I was on a plane back to the states after spending two weeks in SVE. The trip honestly involved only a few moments of sadness. It was primarily filled with better times as my SVE and USA families enjoyed each other's company, despite the reason for it.

And so I fall back into my life. I will be heading out to SBR continuously once again, but now I have an advantage as someone on my side is helping me from above.

Cheers from Boulder,