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  1. Yesterday was two years....nothing to celebrate. JoJo and I talked, we can't believe it has been a year since we let Mike free in those perfect puffy Eugene clouds that seemed to be the norm back in the day. I was really tempted to do a bit of a bandit jump yesterday and land off with the whole fuck it attitude that we all ran wild with together during the summer of bandit jumps. I did however by some crazy delicious looking chocolate caramel almond, etc numminess of dessert and munch the entire chunk before dinner in Mike fashion! What makes me even more sad, is that about a week before this time last year, Tonto sent me a message encouraging me to be strong and not to let myself drown in sorrow but to remember why I'm a better person by having Mike as a friend....It wasn't your time either Tonto, and I'm thankful I saved all your amazing letters. Fuck man...Fuck Smile & Laugh everyday, if you're not, change something..Life is now...
  2. Hey buddy, I've got a handycam vid that can show you the exact moment I decided to start wearing my full face for tandem jumps!!! Ha!!! It doesn't pose a problem at all when communicating with my passenger, nor does it bang against there head. I wear it with the visor still on, usually lift it open under canopy but they can hear you either way. Smile & Laugh everyday, if you're not, change something..Life is now...
  3. I was in Thailand when I heard about Papa Chop...I always wanted to say that I was sorry for your loss...My dad and I got into skydiving together as well so I always admired the two of you out at Wright bros. I heard his last jump was a sunset load, they'd made a round and he was smiling and than tracked away into the sunset. Smile & Laugh everyday, if you're not, change something..Life is now...
  4. Happy birthday Mike...... Smile & Laugh everyday, if you're not, change something..Life is now...
  5. He was a total gentleman........until he'd start spouting off his, 'So there I was, balls deep in this chick and.........' always filling in the blank with something random! A nut head but a gentleman...BBQ it up and toast to him girlie girl! Smile & Laugh everyday, if you're not, change something..Life is now...
  6. Mmmmm, I forgot about your smoked salmon dip, num num!!! I went ahead and started Mike's birthday week today...I woke up and ate ice cream for breakfast, I figured that would be a good start. I went to the dz and pulled out the little footage I got from his 30th birthday week at crosskeys...I've wanted to edit something and send it out to you guys but I just couldn't bring myself to watch it for the longest time...There are some priceless moments though, I'm going to eat some more ice cream and start putting that together tonight. Reading your letters has put a smile back on my face remembering the good ole days, thanks... Remember when we did the Butte to Butte demo? What chaos! Did any of us have over 300 jumps?!!!! I forgot my steering wheel had locked up and we spent the rest of the day in the village waiting for it to get fixed or towed away but glad that it kept us from going back to the dz to face humiliation!!! I wish we had video of that!!! Smile & Laugh everyday, if you're not, change something..Life is now...
  7. That's one thing I miss and have missed ever since we all moved out of Eugene....getting up early and doing the breakfast tradition, and than going back to bed before going to the dz... And you Mike, complete opposites!!! He would eat so fast and you, you are still the slowest eater I've ever encountered...What did he say one time, the tall guy looks down at the small girl and they say hmmmm, our kids might be normal!!! You two were too cute....that day after the sushi party, I'll never forget watching you guys mop the wood floors, hip to hip the entire time. You pooring out the wood cleaner, him mopping it up after you, baby steps across the entire floor. I watched you guys in my pathetic hungover state and cracked up on the inside. It's nice to hear you, thanks for replying....give the fam a big 'ole group hug.. Smile & Laugh everyday, if you're not, change something..Life is now...
  8. There have been too many days to count that that day replays itself in my head and in my heart....hearing those dreaded words, I went limp and I dropped down into a ball on the gravel walkway, a sound never heard before by my own ears krept out of my mouth in a choking whisper. In the days before the funeral, I remained locked up in my house huddled up and rocking over a spread of pictures...memories of the best and happiest days I've ever spent, pictures of my friend, of our cirlce, of moments when our lives were intertwined and gloriously lived... There are too many days to count that my heart is full of sarrow, too many sad days that I miss my friend. So many days though, so many moments throughout any given day will trigger a memory of time spent with Mike. Whether I'm alone or in a crowd, I'll just smile and remember. Some times I'll tell a story, sometimes I'll keep it for myself. I hate the days that sadness overtakes me...I hate that there is no rewind on real life. Being that I have no other choice, I live for the memories and keep him close thoughout my daily routines. He was so funny about always having to have q-tips, it was okay to run out of toilet paper or toothpaste he could just use paper towels and mouthwash to suffice, but heaven forbid he walk out that door with wet ears! And than when I get in my car and if there is stuff scattered about the seats, I'll remember how when you'd get into his he'd say just as long as you look out the front window, the car appears clean. Just don't look at the floor board or in the back seat, keep your eyes looking out the window! There would be days that I'd come home from work wearing the painters coveralls and he'd grab onto the back side of the shoulder straps, pick me up a foot or so off the floor put me down and do it over and over like a baby in one of those bouncey chairs and ask me how my day was and I'd just laugh and laugh... We'd go out to eat, this one day he's telling this animated story with his hands to JoJo and myself, just talking away in typical Mike fashion, eventually we look down at his plate and his huge calzone is gone, our plates our still full.We were always like, how does he do that?! He never stopped talking and managed to eat the entire thing! I remember getting him and Megan out of bed to go sit on the porch of the Broadway house to watch all the fall leaves on the street blowing around, thinking at the time how neat to have friends to share such a pretty evening with. I remember taking notice one day of how big his coffee cup was and he says to me, "Vanessa, everything about me is big. Big hands, big feet, big nose, ears, evan my coffee cup. The only thing small about me is my butt!" This one summer it seemed like all of us had taken a dinger of some sort, he had a cast on his arm, Mile's had one on his leg, JoJo and I were gimping around with sore ankles. He'd carry this golf ball around and when anybody asked he'd say he crashed a golf cart or some nonsense and than lift up the golf ball as evidence! Than every week, he'd cut his cast off with the help of the boys and go in to get a new one put on ( I think that was his idea of getting his money's worth out of his insurance.) He'd drive the nurse crazy with a million questions of why's and what for's until finally she tells him. "Michael, I'm going to have to start talking to you like I talk to my six year old. With my hands on my hips and a big sigh, I'll look at you and say 'what now?'" I hadn't talked with Mike for a handful of months prior to the accident, I was caught up with the move to San Diego and a new job, etc. For a couple of months every morning when I was on the freeway at four in the morning commuting to work, I'd think that I should call Mike. It'd be seven o'clock his time, I could probably catch him on his way to work. I never picked up the phone, I'd have some lame excuse like I was getting into traffic and needed to pay attention or I was too tired to talk. So I never called him. I never called him and now I can never call him...I can never call him, aaaggghhhh.....why.why.why.why.why? This is Mike's birthday weekend, he'd be 32. Mile's, JoJo, he and I were planning on a reunion, maybe this would have been the weekend, we'd have made a week of it. It'd be awesome. I'm sad today, I miss Mike.... Mile's, JoJo and I sat atop a hill drinking wine watching the sunset one summer eve in Eugene. We talked of how life was full of phases and how friends come and go, of how none of us really had ever had true lasting friendships. We recognized how quick our bond was with us and also recognized that maybe by next summer we would have moved onto another chapter and not remained so tight. We toasted that day to the here and the now of our friendship. But we endured, life moved on, chapters ended and new ones started and we remained friends through the goods and the bads and the long distances. We made it, my three boys, my true friends. I miss you buddy, it's not the same without you..... Smile & Laugh everyday, if you're not, change something..Life is now...
  9. It's easy enough to figure out how to work anywhere if you want to bad enough, you'll figure something out! I was there just over half a year, great and wonderful place! Keep in mind that it can get pretty windy and gusty there, make sure your canopy flying skills are up for the challenge. I agree with whom ever mentioned Taupo being busy, just make sure and spend time on the south island too, it's beautiful! Smile & Laugh everyday, if you're not, change something..Life is now...
  10. Hi Kim, If there is anything at all that you need help with don't hesitate to call me...location, aircraft, phone numbers of DZO's, pilots or jumpers, anything at all. All my love~Vanessa Hi Tim, welcome back from your travels.... Smile & Laugh everyday, if you're not, change something..Life is now...
  11. To all of the Crosskey's family, I am sorry to hear of your loss. You truly are an amazing dropzone with such a happy and close loving family, it saddens me that this untimely misfortune has happened. I was there around Memorial Day in '05 for my friend Mike Ramon's birthday week. We were only going to stay a day but ended up staying for four days because we were having so much me, it wasn't just the skydive's (we were so hungover we almost puked on a handful of loads!) we stayed because of the fun energy and atmosphere that all of you created! Whenever we talked after that, it was always the crazy stories of 'that week at Crosskeys!' I lost Mike not even a month ago, he was my friend, he was my family...I have cried a million tears but it's not the mourning that is getting me through, it's the REMEMBERING that is helping me... I only met PJ once, you guys were lucky to see him everyday...Cry for him, miss him....but REMEMBER HIM, laugh and tell stories and keep his spirit alive. Become the positive impression he left on you. The world can never be too full of amazing poeple... Take care Crosskey's Vanessa rose~ Smile & Laugh everyday, if you're not, change something..Life is now...
  12. What a wonderful and loving group you are at Orange....Thanks so much for celebrating Mike and for posting some pictures for everyone to see... I wish I could have been there...Those of you whom I met at his service seemed like a great group of people and this proves it for sure!!! Take care, and don't be a stranger if ever in Southern Cali~ Smile & Laugh everyday, if you're not, change something..Life is now...
  13. Justin!!! I'm stoked to find that you have been looking for me! I can't wait to hear from you, Brad that #!*! South African you met in Florida is at Skydive San Diego with me and he gave my your number....I'm not surprised you two hit it off, he cracks me up too! So much to catch up on, I want to plan some sort of epic snowboarding trip this year, you still riding? Talk to you soon! Vanessa~[email] Smile & Laugh everyday, if you're not, change something..Life is now...
  14. Mike's service was truly beautiful...To hear and relive so many stories from the Eugene days and laugh at new stories has really helped me come to realize that Mike lived a full life....of happiness, with family and friends and of total spontaneous craziness that always kept things exciting! Whether it was one of his bright ideas to tie a bunch of inner-tubes together and go on what turned out to be the coldest and most epic rafting trip on an Oregon srpring day(Remember Miles and Megan, all of us in shorts and bare feet bobbing down the river?!!)...Of course his reasoning afterwards was....'Well the way I see it, when your in your car with the heat on and you look out and see the first sunny day after months of clouds, it seemed like a good idea!!!' Followed by that famous laugh! Or even just the little things like when we were roomates and we'd go to the store and end up there for hours smelling and talking about every single deodorant and going through the entire candy isle and always walking out with a few options of everything!!! I love Mike and I cherish the friendship that we were given, his memories and famous one liners will live on and I will always eat my dessert first!!! Kim & John, family & friends, I love you guys, stay close.... Smile & Laugh everyday, if you're not, change something..Life is now...