Autopsy

This morning I finally received the autopsy report. The attached letter read “It is unfortunate that it took so long, but there have been articles in the local press about the backlog in the courts and Medical Examiner’s office, so apparently this has been an issue for many people.”  I am grateful to the embassy staff for their perseverance of effort in securing this document.

While my Spanish skills are poor, I can read it enough to know that the cause of death was the “toxic effect of carbon monoxide.” 

Continue reading “Autopsy”

Patrick’s California Memorial

In late June 2017, Abby, Julie and Rui visited California. In addition to the usual fun-for-kids stuff like Disneyland, horseback riding (three times, including once up to the Hollywood sign), going to the beach, and checking out the stars on Hollywood Blvd, we were able to visit with Julie’s brother, explore San Francisco, and go see Abby’s Aunt Gretchen at her house in the mountains near Yosemite.

On the last day of their visit, the four of us held a brief memorial service for Patrick in my back yard. Here’s a transcript of that service.

Continue reading “Patrick’s California Memorial”

Real Kill

Here’s a long autobiographical story by Patrick about his time in Missouri. I found two versions, one from 2011 and another from 2013. I spent a couple of hours editing the latter (mostly typos and formatting) and am posting the result here.


The airlines wouldn’t let us fly, so Mari and I returned to the States from Holland on the S.S. Rotterdam.  Mari was in a stupor induced by Thorazine, little red capsules that she had to pop two or three times a day.  It seemed pretty crazy to me that she could travel by ocean liner, but not airliner.  Seven days, if I remember correctly, with nothing but sea in all directions.  She could fall or jump.  On a plane, I’m pretty sure I could have kept her in her seat for a few hours, and anyway what harm could she have done?

A friend met us at the dock in New York and took us to his apartment in Freeport until we figured out how to get to Missouri.  I had sold my car before expatriating, or so I thought, two years before. Continue reading “Real Kill”

Letter to Patrick

Hey Patrick, it’s JP.

I’m wearing that robe tonight, the maroon one that you and Ivonne bought for me when I came to visit in Palma—so long ago it seems, although it was really just a year and a half ago. So I’m wearing the maroon robe and I’m thinking about you.

You know, things are going ok. Of course, I still miss you like crazy. It’s what, one in the morning and I’m thinking about you.

I think about you a lot.

Still, I’ve dialed it back some. Continue reading “Letter to Patrick”

Our Lives, Like Birds

Our lives are like birds.

Sometimes they fly together, sometimes one is above the other, or below, but ultimately every bird falls from the sky.

And yet, we somehow still see them, always flying, even after they disappear.

When they don’t return, we can only hope that they’ve just flown away.

(inspired by a conversation with Ivonne on 13 Sep ’17)

How Patrick’s Life Choices Affected My Own

Back in January 2015, Christine asked if my Dad’s life choices affected my own. I recorded this response while driving.

Naturally in this vastly interconnected yet simultaneously disconnected world, all things impact all other things. A mosquito bite in Africa can lead to profound consequences in North America. So, yes, there were certainly aspects of his decisions that impacted me, not the least of which was his need early on to strike out on a new life while my sisters and mother and I were left behind—or maybe we were the ones that struck out and he was the one left behind… philosophically, certainly not realistically. Hell, I just lost that thought. Continue reading “How Patrick’s Life Choices Affected My Own”