Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ground Covered in a One-Horse Town

Today is the 26th of July 2009. It is the day that the great western adventure ends. Rob's life is permitted - after eight days of tolerating the benevolently intrusive presence of his mother, grandfather and me under his roof and in his day-to-day - to return to normal or a reasonable facsimile thereof. After being in vacation mode for the past eight days (OK, I did speak to my office every day to keep abreast of developments in matters) tomorrow morning the "game on" light shall illuminate again for Margaret and me - and for Joe as well. We shall all go to sleep tonight under the roofs of what we know to be our homes and shall awaken tomorrow to the daily grind of work.

This time last year - on the 26th of July aught-eight, all was right in the orbit around my bride. As of this day last year, neither of the two women upon whom Margaret relied so deeply for support and they upon her - Nanny or her mom Sue - had died. The mighty troika was firmly in place. Oh what a difference twelve months makes, eh? In the rotation that our big blue marble has made around the sun since we last passed the mile marker 07/26 Margaret's world has been put through a meat grinder. Sadly and coincidentally Joe's has as well. For as Margaret has marked the loss of her grandmother and her mom, her dad has had to come to grips with the death of his mother-in-law (who resided in his home for the final three decades of her life) and his bride of forty-nine years plus. To put it mildly, the past twelve months have been tough on Margaret and Joe.

Yet through it all they have had one another. And for the past eight days they had one another in an apparently alien environment, which was made to feel like home by virtue of the fact that we were here to see one of the family's pillars of great hope. Rob - whether he realizes it or not - completely energizes Joe. It seemed to me that the highlight of Joe's week was our Monday afternoon visit to Rob's job and the dual thrills of seeing his oldest grandson in action and thereafter being a guest of honor in the office- being introduced as "my grandpa Joe" to Rob's boss and to his co-workers. I suspect that the smile affixed to Joe's mug as a result of all that transpired on Monday afternoon will be present on his visage for an indeterminate period of time.

This past year reminded me of the importance of family and of taking the time to slow down and enjoy them and the things you are presented the opportunity to do with them. This past week was just such an opportunity and I am thrilled that not only did Margaret and I get a chance to spend time with Rob but that Joe and Rob got to spend this time together also. Once upon a time we might have all believed in the fairy tale of "forever". We know now that we get considerably less time than that and it is ours to do with what we will.

Time is short and here's the damn thing about it/
You're gonna die, gonna die for sure.
You can learn to live with love or without it/
But there ain't no cure.

Trust me - order from Column A. It makes the ride significantly more enjoyable.


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