Chris and I had had some good laughs about bats when he visited us (Tom, his uncle; Eric, his cousin; and me (his aunt) in Kenya. First to note he explored Kenya with gusto - from gameparks in Masai Mara (even got Ben enthused to try the same trip!) to diving in the Indian Ocean to exploring old town Mombasa, Chris was up for anything- and so positive, as he pushed jeeps out of mud over the hub caps!

Back to bats - he remarked that he liked seeing the fruit bats leave the trees out in the Mara to start hunting in the evenings... a change for him as he HATED the bats he came across when on duty in Turkey and had to go into those warehouses. I shared my bat stories of Africa when a curse was put on me. So we just laughed and laughed.

streamThe day Chris passed on, about 15 minutes after he left us, I was hiking up at this waterfall in the rainforest. Just above the waterfall is a glade, a clearing where more sunlight comes in, surrounded by wild nutmeg trees, the rainforest canopy and the stream running by. All of a sudden a small bat flew in front of my face and all I could think of was Chris. (Now bats usually are not flying around in the middle of the day, even in the rain forest).

It circled up and then swooped down past my left side... circled up and then swooped down past my right side. And I knew it was Chris, coming to say good-bye. And I laughed and I cried... and then got home and saw the news that in fact he had passed on.

When the family had the memorial for him, I hiked up to the waterfall at the same time with a white rose.... in Brazil on New Year's folks dress in white or pale blue and go to the oceans with white roses to say goodbye to those who departed that year.... and put it in the stream next to the glade, and watched it go over the waterfall and on its path to go to the sea.

Linda Lankenau