Learning To Fly 4-22-2021

And days go on. Days counting down slowly and cruelly since I lost one of my best friends. Cindy Bergin, I miss you with every inch and fiber of my being. When I had forgotten how to swim, you taught me how to float, then how to swim again, and then you taught me how to fly.

And how do I go on? Without you, I would have never learned to stand on my own, to walk away when the moments called for it. You taught me self-sufficiency and hope for the future.

Cindy, you were one of the most self-aware and self-sufficient person I have ever know. You lived life to its fullest. How do I go on?

It is hard to put into words what you meant to me and what I know you meant to all your other friends and family. You were a light in the darkness. You were a fierce friend, willing to drop everything in an instant to support your friends.

I enjoyed writing with you. You were wild and free and happy to go to the extremes of the universe. Our ships will never fly again without you. How do I go on?

I remember the first time I met you in person. It was at Breyerfest. I hadn’t even known you collected Breyer horses and then you were coming down to Kentucky. We passed each other by at first, neither of us recognizing the other for a moment. And then you were there and my life began to change for the better.

After that, I looked forward to Breyerfest not only because it was a celebration of the model horses I had collected since childhood, but because you were there. Going home from Breyerfest was like a loss, but there was always next year. Now there are no more next years.

Nine hours is too far to separate friends, but, at the same time, those nine hours meant nothing. We saw each other once a year and yet, no matter how long between times we talked, every time was like we had spent no time apart. How do I go on?

You made me laugh at the world and at myself, but, even more important, you showed me the power of love. You never ended a phone call without saying “I love you.” And I suspect, you ended every call with every friend and family member with those exact same words. How do I go on?

I know, one day, the pain of your loss will fade. It will never go away completely, but it will fade. I will learn how to celebrate your life and live with the emptiness you left in mine. But right now all I have is tears for the loss I will feel for the rest of my life.

Cindy, you were, and still are, a friend of a lifetime. I will never know another person like you. How do I go on?

More importantly, how do we all go on without you?

A Funny… Weird… Sad Thing Happened on the Way to the Armchair 12/12/2019

And no, I don’t mean funny ha ha. I mean funny as:

“differing from the ordinary in a suspicious, perplexing, quaint, or eccentric way: peculiar” as quoted from the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

And maybe, I don’t even mean that.

Maybe I mean weird in the same “suspicious, perplexing, quaint or eccentric way.”

To be honest, I am not sure. My brain hasn’t processed enough to understand something which is, ultimately, not understandable.

I do know I mean sad. As in the sadness and shock of my world being changed in an instant.

Yesterday, in the middle of a normal, everyday, day, a co-worker with no health problems, no signs of anything wrong, collapsed at the office. After getting her heart started again three times, the rescue squad spirited her away.

She didn’t make it.

I only knew her as a familiar voice on the phone over the years I have been at my job, both at the hospital and now at my current position. She was always happy and friendly. Happy, I guess, just to be alive. Phone co-workers, phone-friends, even if we never met face to face.

Until last week. Last week, I spoke with her on the phone and discovered she works in the same office building as I do, just around the corner. I asked where she sat so I could come say hi. You see, I’d seen her at the office, but I never put the name to the face. At the end of the week, she walked by my desk and waved. “I’m Betty(not her real name).”

Now she is gone and something inside me is gone, too. Maybe not forever, but pushed down by the shock in which I’ve been moving these last hours.

How does this happen? How can somebody be there one minutes, fine and whole and healthy, and the next, gone? I don’t understand and I don’t like it.

The truth is, none of us are safe. Our lives can change in an instant, both because of those around us and us ourselves. Life is not forever. Life is a butterfly soaring on fragile wings until that one moment when a wing breaks and all is over.

Should we hold those dearest to us close and never let them go. Should we remember to show our love in every day and in every day? Should we never take anything for granted?

Yes, yes and yes. We should do all this and more. I should hug my child every day and tell him I love him. I should call my child living an hour away and do the same. I should call my father, my sister, my friends.

So why don’t I?

Because, in the end, we all willing wear blinders to hide us from the truth. Not out of indifference, but out of fear. We are afraid of death and afraid of the vacuum left behind at another’s death.

I am feeling this sadness because of the suddenness of her death. It was another day, just any old another day, so how could it change so fast?

I don’t have that answer. Maybe, I never will.

Right now, I need to hug my son and my puppy and my cats. Right now I need to celebrate being alive…..

Response – JSW 6-19-2017

 

Mistakes. Everybody makes them. I do. You do. We all do. Some say even God does. Whites. Blacks. Reds. Yellow. Some think killing is right; others wrong. I don’t know if its right or not right. I’ve never been religious enough to know the mind of God. Didn’t need no god to fill my blood with pain and sorrow. The Devil’s done enough of that already.

Interviewer: Did you feel you had a right to kill that man?

Right? I can kill a deer, can’t I?

Interviewer: In season, sure. But a man isn’t a deer.

Same as a deer ain’t a man. You think men got the right to kill that deer, but that deer don’t have no right to kill the man trying to kill him?

Interviewer: Well, I don’t know that. It seems like that would be another issue altogether.

Then you’re wrong.

Interviewer: All right, so tell me why I am wrong?

You don’t know, mister, I can’t tell you.

Interviewer: Why can’t you tell me?

If I killed a man because he broke into my house, you’d say I acted in self-defense. I wouldn’t be found guilty. I wouldn’t go to jail.

Interviewer: That’s true.

Then how come I can’t kill a man who comes on my property and kills my deer? Seems to be this worlds got right and wrong mixed.

Interviewer: But you weren’t defending yourself, but rather a deer.

Deer got just as much right to live as me. You. Anybody at all.

Interviewer: Maybe so, okay I’ll grant you that. But you let the deer attack that hunter. Then you shot him, the hunter, I mean, in the head.

Gotta put him down. Wouldn’t the hunter have done the same to the deer?

Interviewer: I have to say you have a unique view of the world, Mr Ringer, but I dare say it doesn’t fit in with the current laws of the world. A man is more important than a deer. A deer is just a creature. Men are meant to have domination over the animals of the land.

Gods supposed to have domination over the earth, yet men die all the time. That’s where the mistakes started.

Interviewer: So you are saying God makes mistakes? What about free will?

Don’t know. Don’t know God. Yet. But seems to me whats right for one is right for another. Deers got free will, too. Right to protect himself in his own home.

Interviewer: But instead of calling an ambulance, instead of helping the man, you killed him. He was still alive. He could have been saved.

Man puts down a horse with a broken leg. Seems the broken leg probably came from some fool thing man asked the horse to do.

Interviewer: But….

No buts. Gotta be one way or the other. Not right to keep making the same mistakes.

Interviewer: But…..

I ain’t afraid. Mayhaps, I’ll meet God. Ask him some questions. Understand why he let the first mistake stand.

The prisoner stood, shackles around his wrists, tethered to the chain about his waist.

“Thank you,” the Interviewer said, standing also..

The prisoner looked at him. Gave a small smile. “I’m passing the torch to you. Keep fighting the mistakes. Not just deer and men, but all of them. Somebodys got to, and that must be you, you came to talk to me.”

Then he was gone.

The reporter stood motionless, staring into the distance, following the execution in his mind.  The table. The straps. Drugs and going the sleep. Funny, how sleep and death were sometimes the same. Like deer and men? Maybe?

The prisoner had looked at his notebook when he’d said he was passing the torch and now the Interviewer looked at that notebook. Inside were only words, but words which could make or break a man? Maybe a world.

Once he heard the prisoner pronounced dead, he packed up his notebook and went home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JSW Prompt April 10, 2017

Feel free to jump in and tackle the prompt yourself. Please keep your posts under 300 words. If you link back to this post, I will re-blog your post to my site.
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I’ve always wondered how one’s life can flash before one’s eyes in six minutes, but it can. Doesn’t seem possible but I was there. I knew.

Six minutes. Did that mean my life hadn’t been worth more than six minutes? Or is that just the time angels give you to make amends, get your name upgraded from hell to heaven? Or downgraded.

It’s like there is a suspension of belief, those six minutes when you can’t accept that, yes, you are going to die. That all the pain and suffering of your life is almost over. No one can hurt you any more. You’ve got hurt enough to last six minutes and longer, but all you have is six minutes.

Still, you have time to regret those things you did wrong, and those you did right. I like to think I did more for the right than the wrong, but I know better. I’d killed people, people I didn’t even know. People with sons and daughters; wife and parents and friends.

Killed them for no reason except the man in power told me so. Ship out and kill some of those bastards. Kill as many as I could, truth be told.

Now, I know better. Killing doesn’t make things right. Not for the winners or the losers. Whoever said war solved problems didn’t know shit about war. You can’t solve your problems with fighting. It just makes more fighting. More death.

I’m about gone now. The pain is gone completely and I can feel my body going, death rolling up my frame like ocean waves.

The ocean. I used to love to go to the ocean. Swim. Play on the sa…..

Friday Fictioneers 2-11-2017

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mystery-chair-ted-strutz

The chair sat alone, awash on the thin line between water and shore. Most days, he’d sit in the chair for hours; not fishing, just watching. ‘Drinking in the peace,’ he’d told her once.

Once hadn’t been enough. She wanted him back. In the chair. Drinking in peace. Bringing her peace by being there. But he wasn’t; he wouldn’t be ever again.

Walking to the chair, she tossed skyward the contents of the small metal box in her hands. Watched the ashes scatter in the wind, wash away in the swift current.

Now, she was the one alone.