The day began as promising prospect.
i awoke, did some work on organizing, had yet another wonderful breakfast courtesy of Maureen while sitting at my Great Aunt Ida’s – what a wonderful term for a relative – oak breakfast room table while reading the newspaper and watching a few hummingbirds feed off the sage in front of our window. i gathered myself and headed to Salt Creek, a wonderful golf course with terribly bad bunkers, for a round with my friends.
When i arrived, one of my golf partners informed me one of our foursome had suffered a heart attack. i will not name the golfer because knowing him, he would like to keep this as quiet as possible, but suffice it to say he is one of my closer friends in the Southwest corner. As i write, it appears he has missed the fated scythe, and will be going home in a couple of days.
i called another friend to inform him of our mutual buddy’s situation. He was shocked and then informed me his sister, a huge success and a wonderful, caring woman, was diagnosed with breast cancer, the extent of which has yet to be determined. She, i’m guessing, would also not care to have this published, so she too will remain anonymous.
i take this all in stride on the surface and look for ways to help, either by doing something or staying the hell out of their business. But inside, i broil.
In the late afternoon and with more information about my two friends, i walked out into the “work area” of my garage, which in the new world terminology is my “man cave.” i do not like the term, but it is probably accurate in this case.
i sat on the love seat i had purchased with my ex-wife for almost nothing in an auction outside of Watertown, New York damned near forty years ago. I had kept it through five moves, most cross-country relocations, refinished it and repaired the broken leg, and done my first upholstery job including springs for the seat shortly after my divorce. In the subsequent moves, it was mostly kept in storage, and when Maureen saw the fabric i had chosen for the covering, it was apparent it would never be part of our interior decor. i had taken it down from the garage’s makeshift attic with the intent of a new upholstery and possibly getting into our house. By the way, that is not going to happen.
But i sat there rather than getting to about one thousand well-intentioned tasks on that old frayed, cat-attacked, upholstery across the rug my parents had in their back entry from my father-in-law’s work bench i had rescued from his garage in the house in Lemon Grove where his family lived for forty years.
It all seemed surreal. i sat there just not thinking.
My world continues to change. It was meant to be that way, but quite frankly, i’m not handling this kind of shit very well. My parents lived into their late nineties. They watched nearly all of their generation of family and friends go before them. They handled it with grace and understanding, and even though they had us and many other family and friends, they were eventually alone.
The alone i can stand. Dealing with those close to me hurting from the invariable infirmities and disease of aging and losing those who don’t make it through such problems sucks, quite frankly.
So i sat there in the silence of a garage on an old love seat by myself. i asked why. There was, and will probably never be an adequate answer, unless it is by someone convinced they know more than me for themselves, for themselves.
My parents in their last years wondered why they were still around. We kept telling them they were a joy for their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and hordes of friends in a lovely small town where they lived for all of their lives.
They didn’t buy it.
My answer is to keep on living well, doing what i think is right, treating everyone – and i mean everyone – as a valuable human being for as long as i can. My parents did that without thinking about it.
But man, this is one hell of a long, not very enjoyable trip through time.