Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

A short day at Pima Air and Space Museum. The grounds are soaked from Sunday’s rain and we can’t run the visitor trams. Here I am arriving this morning at 0845, then departing for home 20 minutes later.

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What to do with this unexpected day off? Send flowers for Lois’ funeral services and make a donation to a charity, for one thing. Help Donna get ready for her four-day trip to Las Vegas … she leaves tomorrow and will return on Saturday. Figure out what I’m going to do while I’m on my own (one idea: watch Buffy).

I feel terrible we can’t fly out to Missouri for Lois’ funeral, but the visitation is tomorrow and the burial is Wednesday, and as I said in an update to yesterday’s post, we had a happy visit with her just a few months ago … those memories are the ones we want to keep fresh in our minds.

But damn, when it rains, it pours. My best friend from my teenaged years, Jeremy, is in hospice with esophageal achalsia. He knows he’s dying and sent out a farewell message over the weekend. I can’t say how important my friendship with him was to me, and I hope to him. We went to junior high together in Laramie when we were 14 and 15. We lost our virginity together with a friendly girl named Diane. We read Kerouac together and decided to join the beat generation together. I left for California, but came back after graduating from high school and we spent part of a summer together bumming around the country, beatniks at last (albeit very young ones). We didn’t see each other again for more than 50 years. He joined the Navy and went to Vietnam; came home, went to school, and became a librarian. I jinked hard on Vietnam and went to school instead; then tried to get there as a fighter pilot but the air war ended just as I got my wings. But enough about me. Over the years we both made attempts to find one another and rekindle our friendship, and about four years ago we did. Would you guess Facebook? Living clichés, both of us. I met him in Seattle in 2015, along with his lovely wife Phyllis, who will soon be on her own. As with Lois, all I can do is revisit a happier past, and grieve.

Last week we put an old hashing friend to rest, and today I learned that another hashing friend, Pat, a woman I met only briefly but with whom I’ve had a long friendship by correspondence, has breast cancer. Well, at least with breast cancer one can be hopeful, and I choose to be. Knowing Pat, that will be her choice as well.

Tell you what, though, when you reach your 70s the hits come fast and hard. Be positive, Paul (I tell myself). And don’t let this blog become an ossuary. To that end, a happy treat for us all:

© 2019, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.


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