This is me 8 years ago, shrouded in death stage illness. When i got really sick, my hold on base level reality slipped away and i believe when this was taken i was confronting someone for 'poisoning' my orange juice. I was a real fun guy to be around, it's safe to say. It took me about another year of decline before things changed and I began to get better. These days we usually like to celebrate these rebirths, guys like us. This year's anniversary saw me wake up feeling pretty glad about having escaped the darkness and i started my morning off with my father and youngest daughter Phoenix. We rode around in Grasshopper, dad's green pickup and talked and laughed and did this and that. When I got home, Natalie gave me this handmade book of sorts. It said 7 on the cover and inside had a page for each year since 2005. Each page was written by a different lifelong friend of mine or family member and consisted of memories of what that year was like and something we shared. My older daughter Lyric, three of my best friends, a girl I fell in love with in San Fransisco, my older brother Dean and Natalie, my best friend, co-parent and biggest supporter. They were all laced with humor, things I hadn't remembered in a while and some of the heavy things we went through. In my 31 years I have never received a finer tangible gift. I don't know any better way to say it than that. A little later in the day I found this photograph, taken long after I had lost sight of getting well and long before I even knew what getting well meant. Its pretty dadgum vacant and painful to look at if you ask me but it all led me to here so who can say what is bad and what is good. Thankful for all who have helped to light my path and walked miles with me. I will continue to try and do the same for my fellow travelers.