I love Idaho.
Memories are two-faced.
Friend and foe.
Smiles and tears.
No matter – I wouldn’t want to exist without them.
So thankful I experienced.
So thankful I’m here to create new ones.
It goes by too quick. Life does.
I look into the face of my dear friend. In the hospital. (Apparently, it’s a recurring thing lately – these hospital visits.) He has aged. I have to admit when I look in the mirror – I have too. Dammit. And dammit that it took the alarm of the ICU to get me off my butt and by his side.
We share news of kids and grandkids (his) and great-grandkids (his again – yes I’m envious). Nearly four decades of communal history are in the room with us… like it all happened yesterday: crazy dangerous fun, laughter, pain, loss.
He says he doesn’t want to grow old. This scares me. So I ask him, “But if your quality of life is good, old is good, right?” I can’t bear losing him.
But I don’t think I’ll lose him any time soon. He’s a tough bird, “older than dirt” according to his estimations.
He’s side-stepped doctor recommendations for a good long while now, hence ICU and the once-again stay in the hospital. This time they’ll be keeping him for a while – in the pulmonary rehabilitation wing. The fun of youth catches up.
(Seriously!? Are we allotted just some quota of over-the-top living!?! I suppose there’s no rhyme or reason to the life and death cycle TIMING thing but it’s REALLY hard to not contemplate and wonder if there is some allowance-of-fun-score-keeping device that pulls the plug on us through death or discomfort.) Sigh… Enough ranting.
I love you, Claud Wayne.
Nine members of my family and almost four-hundred other persons. BA flight 2069, December 28, 2000.
It’s not something I think of often, but my daughter, Rachel, recently posted on Facebook a dramatic re-enactment of the hi-jacking causing a flood of memories. It made me wonder how others on the flight were affected by the experience.
Here’s one article with comments from fellow passengers:
I distinctly remember my heart pounding so loud and slow that other sounds were drowned out. I’d never felt as calm as I felt in those moments – and I’ve never felt that since. I knew we all were on the verge of death, and I was thankful all nine of our family were together so none of us had to face the pain of life without the others. I accepted my fate as easily as I would accept a hug from a loved one.
Does that sound callous? My husband of twenty-two years, the father of my children, had died suddenly in an electrical accident six months previously. Russell, Rachel and I were still reeling from the loss. For me, the contemplation of imminent, sudden death was not at all frightening.
If you were on the flight, what are your memories?
If you weren’t on the flight but have had a similar experience, please share.
A memory floats.
No clear vision of –
Yet… clear in feeling.
Soul searing perception
Gut wrenching in loss.
I cry not knowing why
Yet… knowing exactly why.
Moments that will never be again
Moments that defined happiness
Except in memory.
Last night my daughter, Rachel, three of her lifelong friends – Chris, Jesse, Mel – and I played dominoes and acted silly while drinking way too much… and then we drank more. I’m not sure we ever finished a single game, and if we did I have no idea who won.
Then we cried in memory of loved ones we’ve lost much earlier than death should have had the right to claim them.
It was one of those evenings that was relayed by my hippocampus into its forever and ever safe-storage in my cranium.
Rach and I crashed in the guest room, her bulldog Suri bedding down between my legs pinning me to the mattress. But who cares when you’re that inebriated?
At some point in the middle of the night, my body revolted and sent me to the porcelain throne, no doubt the only reason I was able to wobble into work this morning.
After washing my face and brushing my gnarly teeth and tongue, my incredible man made sweet love to me… completing this perfect memory.
The last thing I remember before the sandman visited was giggling and saying, “I guess I never grew up.”
And I hope I never do.