Sunday, August 04, 2013
One of our neighbors died last week. She was in her 80's and had been fighting cancer for over 5 years. She was a nice lady, and I'm sorry that I won't see her walking through the neighborhood any more. She and her husband often walked with dual walking sticks to keep their balance and help them up the hilly roads. It's funny how you don't really know someone, and yet you feel a kind of absence when they are gone. Not like a painful feeling, but sort of an empty space where they used to be.
About 10 years ago i heard that the boy who grew up across the street from me had passed away. He very suddenly dropped dead at work. Turned out he had several blockages in his heart. He was only in his mid 30's when it happened. I hadn't talked to him in at least 5 years, but at our class reunion, I suddenly had a very huge hole in my heart because I never would be able to talk to him again. We used to walk to kindergarden together, and sometimes walked home together. He played hide and seek with all the neighborhood kids, and had dinner at our house. He and my brother had a fort in the back yard. As we grew up, we drifted apart, he wasn't in my "crowd" and I wasn't in his, but we always waved and said hi when we saw each other at home.
Was he a huge part of my life? No. Was he a good friend? Maybe -- I don't think I gave him the chance to be. Do I miss him now? Yes. Why do I miss him? He was part of my life -- a life that is so very short. I would have liked to talk to him about what he remembered about our growing up - I'm sure it was different than my memories. I would have told him what I remembered about his parents, and his dogs, and his cars and him. I would have told him that I valued him just for being him. For being a presence in my life. And now I can't. I can only hope that I take the opportunities that I have in my life now to tell others how much I value them. For being them, and for being a presence in my life.