I saw a picture of you today, although I can’t be certain when it was taken, and while I can easily say that you look exactly as I remember you, that is saying nothing really, for moments after I took the picture we said goodbye to each other, intending to meet again, knowing the chances of that were minuscule.
I have returned your picture to a place of safekeeping where, some months or years from now, I will pull it out and remark that you look exactly as I remember you, but more importantly, perhaps, I will be keeping you alive, and in this fraught world, that is something to be appreciated, even if you haven’t the vaguest idea it is happening
Be well dear friend, and if not, be eternal for a bit longer, be you dead or much alive.
I have two mothers, now both dead, I have three fathers, one unknown, one buried outside Washington and one lost in a corner of his shrinking mind. I am growing older, I have aches and clicks and pops and groans, which each remind me that I am aware and alive and that isn’t a bad way to start a new day.
I would reach out in touch you but as it is my fingers barely reach the keyboard. I would take your picture the next time I see you, but it would appear instantly, no waiting for someone to tell me as you were merely a blurred image appearing days later pulled from an envelope. Perhaps I’ll leave a posting on your digital wall and simply hope you are still alive somewhere just out of reach.
You read the obituaries every day not only for the confirmation that you are not listed among them. The key five words there are not only for the affirmation, particularly upon hearing the gentle man you liked, but you also valued as a friend and craftsman is gone, and you didn’t say goodbye, that you thought “better him than me,” that you hated that thought, that you hated yourself for thinking it, that nonetheless you are glad it wasn’t you, was someone else, just not him, just not someone you knew. You weren’t in the obituaries today and when you are gone, you won’t be there to read it anyway, and you want think “better him than you,” and you promise you will forgive those that think it.