Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Dear Brother

On the eve of the anniversary of you being ten years gone, I am cooking with you in our kitchen as though you were here. I'm making something you would like ~ shrimp curry with vegetables and rice. I'm also having a few beers. I'm drinking mine,  and I'm drinking yours.

I have learned through these years that I can still talk to you, write to you, that you will always be there for me, with me.

Your life taught me to live more boldly, to follow my dreams, to get people together, to celebrate more, to look to the sky, to gaze at the stars.

You are my brother so of course, I learned all these things from my mom and dad. We ~ you, me and our sis, learned them together as we grew up in the same household.

One of my first memories was when you came home from the hospital with Mom and Dad. Grandma was taking care of Nancy and me. She was four and I was two and a half, but the excitement and joy we felt still come to me to this day.  I can also remember a family gathering when you turned one. There was a thick dark green candle that we stuck in the cake to celebrate your first year on Earth.

I learned from your example as an uncle. You were always there at every party, holding the baby, talking to the kids.

You and Vicki taught me and Ron about loving relationships. Yours was solid and seemingly void of bickering and bitchiness, at least from the outside.

You taught me about following my dreams. Yours differed from mine, but in the end, you showed me respect and admiration for my work. You were curious about what I knew and could teach you.

I remember being at your home in January 2018 and feeling such a deep love for you and the beautiful man you had become and so proud that you were my brother. You were also becoming much more of a friend in addition to a brother on this journey called life.

Just a couple months before the accident, you took us all on a flight at the pond where the swans hung out. One by one you took the kids and then me in your seaplane, flying through the canyons and laughing maniacally at the thrill of it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

My Brother: Nine Years Gone

It's been nine years since you left. For a long time there was disbelief. Even with all the evidence and the reality of what we experienced, it still felt like you were on a trip. Because you were always on a trip. You were just on a long trip. But you were coming back.

Over time I've experienced not stages, but more like waves of grief, moving from anger to depression to acceptance and back again to disbelief over the fact that you are gone.

What I have learned is that you have never left us spiritually and emotionally. You will always be there. You will always show up in our dreams.  I will always write to you in this way because it's how I can experience your presence. And that's how I can remind myself and your son about your funny laugh, your bold and boisterous spirit, how much you loved your family, how you didn't mean to leave us.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Waking from a dream

I wake up having forgotten
And then I remember
My dream
A tall man gave me a piece of a star
It was smaller than a mini computer card
Iridescent and translucent
Like tiny swath of cotton made out of blue silver light
Buzzing quietly in the darkness

He held it between his index finger and his thumb
The mudra position for fire and air
And transferred the star piece to my own fingers
I placed it onto my desktop
A download from the universe
With answers to all my questions
And questions to all my answers
A white light to keep with me
Various wavelengths combined
The wisdom of the ages
To access whenever I need it

Thank you for the dream my brother

Saturday, April 18, 2015

7 Years

Dear Ned,

I wish I could see you.
I wish I could grow wings to fly up into blue skies, the soft white billowing clouds protecting me from the sun’s heat.  The view of the Earth, the granite steep, the rocks, river, redwoods and lake become tiny splashes of color as I ascend to meet with you.

I wish I could fly to you and be with you for just one day and then more.
I wish I could find you in my dreams to say that it is going to be ok.
Where you are there is a brotherly love that has no conditions, no rainchecks, no venturi effect.

I wish I could turn back the hands of time to that day. Perhaps your brow was furrowed in distraction, thinking of your life, your challenges and unknowns, last night’s conversations with your sisters, forgotten birthdays, the death of another brother, the need to call your parents, the coming weekend when you would be with your family, your little boy, your beautiful wife. I wish I could have given you the presence you needed. And how could I have?

I wish I could slowed the wind that whipped through the canyon that afternoon, the air flew through the narrow rock space speeding it up and dropping the pressure making the little plane struggle to gain momentum. And yet that would have been impossible for me to be there!

I wish I could have been there to slow your attention to check the instruments,
to correct the error of that split second when you were caught off guard. But how could I have been there?

You were caught in the awe of the Sierra Nevadas, into the wild at Cherry Lake. Over your head with the beauty of the forest.

The summer before last, we traveled there to see what you saw and to be there with your spirit.

A brave pilot. A father, son, husband and brother, a man fully alive in this world.

You are always with me,
Your middle sister

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ned Hike August 2013 by Jerry Snyder, Ned's father

The sky is no limit; your dreams should be big. 

Connect with your Friends; but Family is core. 

Golf with your buddies; smoke a cigar while you do. 

Celebrate friendship; enjoy things that you have. 

Seek comfort in music; hear sounds that you like. 

Swimming a race sucks; but Water Polo is great. 

Aviation was his passion; made life exciting and challenging.

Cooking and eating is foremost; don't skimp on a meal. 

Tip a Sierra Nevada; toast to those that you know. 

Share joy, insight and wisdom; communicate with all. 

Don't forget to be supportive; never think small. 

Don't look at me but be introspective; find peace in your life. 

The sky is no limit; but time can be short. 

Superman he was; superman to all of us. 

Live life to its fullest; no moments to spare.

Trek to Cherry Lake for Ned

On August 17th and 18th, 2013, ten of us gathered together to make the trek through this magnificent wilderness in the Sierras where our beloved Ned - Edmond Thomas "Superman" Snyder -and his copilot Dave Cunningham made their last journey. We made it to the area of the April 2008 crash site and saw the beauty of the majestic granite peaks and the awesome wild through Ned's eyes. It was an amazing experience. This first set of photos were taken by Jerry, Ned's father.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Wendy and Ned, about 1971