Goose's Road to Acadia
Neil Daniel "Goose" O'Keefe was born May 26, 2006. He was an exceptional baby, wise beyond his years. He took his first trip to Maine just before his first birthday and I'm pretty sure fell in love right away. Goose was always a water child, he loved to just look out at the water. Rivers, lakes, sewers, it didn't matter.
Goose was always top of the class, even in Nursery School. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to his teachers.
Going to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park every year was certainly a highlight for Goose (and me, his Mom "Moose"). We would venture around town, stare at the boats, go into the park and just wander. Goose had a great love of water and one thing we liked to do was go to various beaches.
The best thing we discovered one day was Friends of Acadia. They were outside of the Jordan Pond House and we signed up as members. What we learned was they had a thing called Acadia Quest. It became our number one "must do" every year while we were up there. We would go on nature tours to Baker Island...
Or cruise to Isle au Haut, the big hit was of course the pup next to the General Store...
We loved getting into the park too, hiking and exploring new things we never would have thought of. Exploring tidal pools, checking out the horse stables or exploring the Wild Gardens of Acadia.
It's safe to say our favorite activity was hiking in the park. Every year we tried to do different trails, and doing the Acadia Quest helped a lot with that. I remember one year we went up Cadillac over to Door and down again, then hiked to the car. Safe to say little Goose was a little tired by the time we were nearing the end of that hike lol...
Chilling on the bridge with our car in the background
II'm sure this bell gets more selfies than any celebrity gala in Hollywood
Lets not forget about Schoodic Point and the Institute, this anchor was a pretty cool find.
Gooses favorite sitting spot...Ship Harbor
Our last hike....
This picture was taken on August 20, 2017, this was my last hike, my last adventure with my son. We got home the next day, and on the morning of August 22 I found my beautiful boy had passed away peacefully in his sleep. I will never understand why this happened, well not at least until I see him again one day. I am thankful to God for brining this beautiful light into my life for 11 amazing wonderful years. We lived every moment together like it was our last, and so I have no regrets. I never wasted time with him, every moment was cherished. Even sitting and just hanging out, reading, playing with Lego, whatever we were doing it was a full moment. No one has forever. You can't buy back time. Don't waste your time with your children. Don't say "maybe later", you might not have later. Cherish the memories, love them with everything you have. I will always be "Neil's Mom", but more affectionately, I will always be his "Moose".
If you would like to donate in honor of Neil "Goose" you can click the link below, or on the home page. You can also make donations direct to Friends of Acadia in his honor. If you are local to CT, I will update the page with our walk dates, or any other happenings. I will also update the FB and Instagram pages, so please follow us to keep up to date.
May the Force Be with You