Wednesday, December 07, 2011
It wasn't my intention to write a gloomy post during this festive time of year but death has blown hot breath through my community and in the space of a week I have lost 4 friends. Two had been dreadfully ill for a long time. Their departure was not unexpected, but it certainly wasn't looked forward to either. But both B and M were so very sick who would want them to linger in a suspended state of pain and suffering? One was, in the nature of time, at least a reasonable development. H was 92. Dementia had set in and the circle of his life had shrunk to very tiny movements. And until 3 years ago, he was driving, cooking, taking care of himself and enjoying his grandchildren. I am sorry and sad but there is something whole about the fullness of his life - his experiences - his love. Like the cadence of a beautiful symphony - it feels right when it comes even if it does mean that silence follows.
and then the 4th blow struck with the news that Pete had died over the weekend.
Pete has been out of touch with everyone for a long time. He was actually incommunicado, though I had a private way to send him messages. He was a piece of work - this man who never did anything - probably not even breathing - in a less than 100% full blast total explosion sort of way. He loved with everything in him and boy could he fight with people in the same way. He never fought with me - he was my first friend when I moved to the country these 36 years ago. He gave and helped and shared everything he had. Once he held a party and it is still referred to as Pete's oyster roast. He was just larger than life.
And he once saved my son's life.
I don't say that in an cliched sort of way. There was a day when we were building our house. My 4 year old boy and I and Pete climbed up to the second floor to look around. there was just the smallest gap between some flooring and sure enough, my 4 year old dropped through it. The fall would have been about 12 feet to a concrete slab. Both Pete and I were just beyond an arm's length away from him and in slow motion I watched my only child heading for that unyielding floor below. Faster than lightening Pete leaped the distance, snatched my little boy by the shoulders and flung him back onto the second story surface.
A flash. A millisecond. An adult with severe ADD. A miracle. Thank God.
Everything that is my early adult life was wrapped around Pete and loosing him really hurts. Knowing he was alive and okay and somewhere doing what he wanted was one of those little savings accounts I kept in my heart to assure me that I had extra resources, that I was rich.
The memories are still there - Pete and the Ghost Car. Pete and swimming up at Marlbank. Pete and the arrowhead root. Pete's oyster roast. Pete's crazy laugh. Memories. Not quite as tangible as the real flesh and blood Pete - but riches nonetheless.
Oh Pete. Fare well.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
On November 1 I finally walked back into my gym. I don't even remember why or when I let my commitment to exercise lapse. It happens. It's happened now and then for 30 years so I don't get too bent out of shape about it - but of course, I do get a little out of shape - which is frequently the trigger to push me back into the gym and I hit that point last week.
So last Tuesday I got out the mat and started with morning yoga - which is a fabulous way to start any day. In addition, I've committed to 30 minutes a day at the gym or a 30 minute lunch time stroll about town. With the exception of Friday - which was a heavy meeting day, and yesterday which was a double ... no ... a triple meeting day - I've managed to stick to that schedule.
Which was the perfect foil to the local Oyster Festival held this weekend and the fried oysters, oyster pie and oyster stew that was ... also a part of my life. I didn't lose any thing but I managed to slide through the weekend without gaining either.
All to the good, of course - the weight thing - but of far more importance are the stress management properties of steady, regular exercise. Work has become extremely taxing - fun taxing, good taxing, but so freaking hard for me I'm almost afraid of it. And this is just the very beginning of the real holiday season - I'm going to be busier than a one arm Christmas tree decorator. If I don't get the endorphin calm of well exercised muscles I am going to get the well padded hips of a very miserable body. And I'll be as cranky as an old Model T.
I knew that. You know it too, don't you?
So. Let's go. Let's move it! Life will be so much better.
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