This past weekend was an emotional one. We drove to Buffalo for a dear friend’s wedding and to meet my adopted mom Deborah.

I met Deb and her late husband Max for the first time, around 12 years ago when I was a student. Thereafter I met them in 2011, after which Max passed away in 2013. This trip to Buffalo brought back memories, not just of my days as a student, but of my many conversations with Max, his love for the city, for all veterans (he was a Vietnam Veteran), the work he did to help veterans suffering from PTSD, his love for his wife, his Pt Cruiser, his home and his pool (we had a standing joke that I would come swim in his pool in the summer- which I haven’t done till date).

I dedicate this post to him, on his birthday the 21st of September 2015. He would’ve been so excited to see me and dear hubby. He loved going out to the Niagara Falls, and it is only fitting that we went with Debbie, her daughter and the grandkids to the falls. I’ve been to the falls before, but hubby hasn’t- so this was a great time to go do just that.

The majestic Niagara falls on the American side took my breath away. yes I do agree that you get a better view from the Canadian side, but America is where it is at! We could view it up close, could feel the mist on our bodies- all just standing at the Niagara Falls State Park! Wonder of wonders!

At the Falls and more!
At the Falls and more!
The Maid of the Mist, though highly overrated, was fun for the kids (at 11 and 9 they were sure to enjoy it)! It was a cloudy day, and we did get drenched in a downpour, but that was after we were done, and were on our way back to the car.

Debbie who has lived her entire life in Buffalo,was an excellent tour guide, and pointed out the numerous changes that have taken place over the years. We drove by the Erie canal, the water front, and the outer harbor, before going to dinner at a warm family run restaurant!

Spending time looking over every picture in her home, feeling Max’s presence ever step I took, and in ever nook and corner of their home, made me feel that he was just asleep and not missing from the physical world. He would write me long emails, with fun anecdotes and everything he wrote to me, came to life right before my eyes.

You must have a look at his handmade jewelry- The picture below is my tribute to him. Happy Birthday Max and thank you for coming into my life.

Hand made by Max Gabriel!
Hand made by Max Gabriel!