Me and Dan in 1989 Dan in the middle me on the far left fishing August 2015
Between us our brother the Spider to Dan’s right Jim and to his right my lifelong friend David Himmer.
My brother Dan died this week. He had been an important figure in my life all my life. In many ways I was amazed that he lived so well so long. He had been a five star chief and they renownly have issues. After decades of huge successes in that field he decided to become his own boss as a Horticultural Designer or fancy landscaper. He was a hands on kind of guy so even though he was in his seventies he had to get down and work hard beside the crew he employed. After enough years of this his back and body wore out. Last month the doctors told him he could not do physical labor any more. I guess at 71 that and years of self-abuse is what killed him. His love ones, we all hoped he would adjust and find a new way to have meaning in his life and live 5 or 10 more years. But while I was visiting my wife Sofia’s amazing and wonderful family in rural Sweden. I received the word that Dan had just laid down on his couch and died. Now for me there is a hole and a feeling of sad emptiness where was there was an older brother who I had a challenging relationship with but who had unconditionally loved me and who I had loved the same in return all my life. Death is not really a funny thing but I know Dan is more free and out of pain now. I am happy for his next stage of growth but I personally feel my life is off balance and less with-out him and my heart goes out to his wife Suzanne and his daughter Freea and his two lovely grandchildren all who loved Dan so deeply and daily and will have a big hole where a unique personality once was.
Some people have asked me don’t most people outgrow the travel bug when they are in their twenties. Why didn’t you? Well in my defense there are many people who love to travel all their lives. I am among them. I feel I can see my life in stark relief and gain huge insights when I am hundreds or thousands of miles from my home base. I feel I am alive when I am in new places where people talk a different langue and eat different foods and see the world differently. When I leave a friend’s apartment on my own and I am concerned that I do not know my way around the new city and might get lost my senses become sharp I see everything in a different way.
I have been very ensconced in Faber, Va. For two years. But in my heart I am a gypse and an adventurer. I am working two businesses with my amazing wife, Sofia, Langevin Axelsson Social Media Promotions and Marketing and The Echo World Magazine (TheEchoWorld.com) but I lived in Northern California for twenty years and co-owned a farm and operated Magical Blend Magazine Publishing and managed to regularly get out on real adventures to Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. I think if you enjoy traveling and adventures then you can’t almost help yourself but go looking for risks to take. I like to think I hedge my bets and take risks that usually have at least a 51% of working. But I am not sure. I guess for me the other part of it all is I love stories. I have a wonderful well-traveled cousin, Al Langevin. He and his wife have lived in Japan and Germany for years and traveled everywhere. He justified it by saying. When I die I figure God is going to ask me how did you like the Earth and all I created on it. I don’t want to say I liked the 100 miles around where I was born. I want to say I liked the hot springs in Japan where the monkeys bathed and the old tower clock in down town Prague, in the Check Republic.
Me I love being on stage or with new friends and sharing some of the stories of eating monkey in Africa and visiting a leper colony while there. Or riding camels in the Sahara Desert. Or adopting my children in Peru thinking I was going down for two weeks and there was a civil war going on and I ended up being in Peru for six months before we became a legal family.
Now, as I write this, I am in Milmo, Sweden. Last night I wondered the streets alone while Sofia taught a class on Nordic Goddesses. I almost got lost. I bought my supper in a corner take out where no one spoke English. It was all great. I feel so alive. I just love traveling.