I have just come home from attending an amazing memorial service for Todd Skinner. It was full-on Wyoming-style, outside, close to Sinks Canyon, complete with the light of the moon, a clear sky, slideshow, bonfire, fantastic food, and over 500 friends and family from all over the country.
It was a party, a celebration of Todd. Yesterday, October 28th, was the actual birthday of Todd. Candles were lit on two giant birthday cakes and we all sang happy birthday. A profound moment for sure.
It was so obvious how much he was admired and loved by all that knew him. Many got up and spoke of the good times with Todd. "God damn your eyes!" was brought up, and so many more 'Toddisms'.
Seeing his wife, the beautiful Amy Whistler, and his three kids, Hannah, Jake, and Sara brought tears to my eyes. I hadn't seen Todd, the family, or Lander in over 5 years. Life moves in mysterious ways and now, having two little girls of my own, time easily got away from me.
Todd was in my life for 26 years. I first met him in 1980 in Joshua Tree, then again in Hueco. We became friends for life, traveling and climbing all over the U.S. and Europe. He was instumental in many of my climbing accomplishments, always knowing in his heart of hearts that I could do anything I set my mind to do. And this he did to so many people in his life. If you go to Todd Skinner's website there is a Memorial Fund set up for his family. Please donate, it's such a good cause.
One thing I have learned from Todd's death, is to try and not let too much time go by without seeing those who are dear. I am kicking myself now for letting this time fly by and not seeing Todd sooner.