Thursday, October 16th, 2014
I lost a dear friend + neighbor last week, John Hackett. He was up in our tree in the backyard, trimming branches, doing what he loved, when he fell. He died a few days later. In the short time that I knew him we became close friends. He was a blessing + a joy to me in so many ways.
John was a retired arborist and taught me all sorts of things about trees: he knew all of their Latin names by heart: sophora japonica, franklinia and acer saccharum were among his favorites.
He cooked us pots of home-made soup on a regular basis; potato-leek, sausage-kale and his signature ham and bean. He was a fabulous cook.
Our favorite thing to do together was drive out to Lancaster County, stopping at produce stands, enjoying the views and looking for treasures at the Morgantown Reuzit Shop.
Goodbye, John. I will miss you like there’s no tomorrow.
Aww, honey, I know how you ache from the heart. It has been a year of loss for many of us, First your grandfather, then your father in law and now your best friend. I remember when I was your age that suddenly the loss of a loved one became commonplace as the eldest generation began to pass away. It reminded me how fleeting life is and made me realize that I am the next in line and how I'd better make the most of the life I have remaining. And so I write, and paint and make photographs and garden and cook good food, but most of all I want to be as close as I can to my mother, and daughters, husband and siblings. I am sorry for John's passing, he was a dear ol' man, but I can't think of a more fitting way for the Lord to take him than while doing what he loved, sculpting a tree to his satisfaction. As you record the life and loves of others in every photograph you capture, remember how important your job is; not only for others, but most of all for yourself, as those images can never be replaced in the hearts and minds of the living. Peace sweetheart. Will see you soon, love mom xoxo