It's been 10 years since I wrote this (http://wander-world.blogspot.com/2008/02/missing-you.html). A lot happens to us in 24 hours, so you can imagine that a lot has happened in these 10 years.
I have become an aunt, I have a husband, I have lived clear across this continent and then I came back, I got a 'redesigned' heart, I saw some other countries, and the list can go on a mile long. And yet one of the same three cats is sitting next to me as I write this, 10 years later, and probably the same black dog would recognize him again if he ever came back home. So much and yet so little can happen in a lifetime!
The one thing that's remained a constant through all this time has been my daily thinking and missing him. There are things that remind me of him every day, and that is not an exaggeration. I think of him when baseball season starts; I think of him particularly in March, with Spring Training, and in October, with World Series on. I think of him every time I see Pringles and Milano Cookies on the shelf at the grocery store. I think of him when I watch Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and I wonder if he would have liked it. I think of him when I hear about a newspaper laying off people or folding. Every such news feels like a piece of my flesh is ripped away from my body. I am sure it would feel the same to him, too.
I miss him when I see a black dog, a random mutt-like, black lab-looking dog, because it reminds me of Floyd and his bond with him. I miss him when the Phillies lose, but I get especially sad when they win!
I miss his wit the most. I still use phrases he taught me and chuckle inside when I meet with a situation that I know how he would have received. I almost know exactly what words he would have used. I still picture his mouth grinning, pushing the dimples deep to the sides, his head tilt, and incredulous stare when I speak about liberal politics.
Lately, I have missed him a lot in this political mess of ours. I wonder daily what he would have thought about this headline or the other, because, boy, you can be sure he would have had a strong opinion on everything. On the other hand, I am glad he was spared the true disgrace and despair that followed some years later. I think it would be safe to say he would hurt for America today.
I thought of him relentlessly when I went through my heart surgery. He was so brave in the face of a forlorn diagnosis, he fought with dignity, with hope, with the eyes wide open of the realist that he was, and – most of all – with grace. I wished, in my direst moments, to have had the grace that he showed in his last year of life.
The huge empty spot he left behind 10 years ago is still left open, like a gaping reminder that he was there. Like all of us, he was unique. He was singular. But only like some of the most special people, did he make a meaningful dent into all our existences. It's the sign of a good life, of a well-lived destiny, however short, when you leave a scar this deep.
Yes, it's been 10 years, and as 10 years show, a lot can happen in that time. But really, all we have on this side of the dirt is not years. What we have is barely minutes. Seconds. Short and shallow breaths! He showed me, and all of us, that not a blink needs to be wasted if we want to have a life to show for ourselves when we're gone.
I saw this quote somewhere and it reminded me of him so. Because, in the end, he was ultimately not afraid: "It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live." And in the end, he lived.
Miss you today, more than any other day, my dear friend, and hoping you're gracing a better place with your presence today, and forever ...