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Friday, July 25, 2014

Time Passages

A guest post by my dear friend Steve.
I just realized the other day that 6 months before the 9/11 attacks was about 25% of my life ago.  That’s a lot longer than I would have expected.

How did this occur to me?  Well it started with my sister calling me to try and set up a time to scatter our brother Bill’s ashes along the beaches of Milford, an area he loved so much.

Thinking about tossing your brother’s cremains into the wind and surf will tend to get you thinking about the passage of time and the changes that we all go through as the calendar pages turn.  But in the midst of this conversation, sis dropped the bombshell that she bought a house in Florida and will be moving over 1,000 miles away in a matter of weeks.

What???  My big sister is abandoning me?  Simply to follow her dream and keep a promise she made to herself 10 years ago?  Come on!!

We talked about this for hours, over beers, over dinner, over drinks.  I was in shock and all I could process was that my life was changing in ways I didn’t choose.  Wah., wah, wah; me, me, me.

Then I went home and as soon as I walked into my house, I realized it had happened, another passage of time.  My dog Amy, who had greeted me at the door for years and years had been fading quickly over the past few weeks.  And I knew without finding her, that the fade was complete.  Amy had passed away.
My mother and I had saved Amy from the Bridgeport Animal Shelter in early 2001, about 6 months before 9/11.  Twenty-five percent of my life ago.  A lot of time passed with that dog by my side.

A few years after we rescued Amy, my Mom died.  She had always dreamed of living her final years in the Florida Keys, but time passed and it never happened.  My sister and I took her ashes to one of Mom’s favorite Keys spots (the old bridge in Bahia Honda) and opened the plastic bag and set her ashes free.  My sister turned to me then and made a promise that she would LIVE in Florida, not just be brought there in a bag.

We had a beautiful time the night we scattered our brother’s ashes at the Connecticut shore.  Three generations of our family gathered and we laughed together and just enjoyed each other’s company.  Eventually, everyone else left and my sister and I talked into the wee hours, telling stories about Bill and the rest of our rather colorful family.

Damn, I’ll miss her.  But she will still be on the other end of a phone call, or a text message or an email.  Or a flight.  Or even a train ride.  And she’ll be doing what she promised herself she would do.  That makes it all bearable.

Time continues to pass, each day seemingly quicker than the day before.  Hold onto the best of yesterday and look forward to tomorrow, which will soon be today.  It may be better, it may be worse, but it will be a new day, a new morning.
This must be the day when all of my dreams come true
So happy just to be alive
Underneath the sky of blue
On this new morning, new morning
On this new morning with you
~Bob Dylan
 A quick postscript:  the morning after I found Amy’s lifeless body, I woke up early and headed out back to dig her grave.  She was a big dog, so I had to dig a big, deep hole and needed to take a break after I was finished.  When I had recovered and was able to carry her out to her final resting place, I noticed something sitting on the bottom of the grave.  A closer look showed me that it was a toy, a plastic, purple hippopotamus.  I looked around, but there was no one to be seen.

I don’t know who or what put that toy there, but it rests for eternity with Amy, my dog for the past 25% of my life.
Time Passages — Al Stewart  
Steve and I have been friends for more than half our lives. We met, roughly, 55% of our lives ago.

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