It’s pleasantly warm sitting in the sun with my feet up on another chair at the Daytona Beach Racing & Card Club. Tracy’s in playing a tournament, I’m out here trying to find words to wrap around the last month or so of the cycle of life cutting through the quiet surface of life in Gainesville Florida.
It’s Bike Week here in Daytona, so the activity is stepped up a pace, and out here overlooking the track near the onramp for I-95 there is a steady rumble of Harleys showing off to one another, small planes circling overhead from the nearby airport, some vague background music drifting from the outdoor speakers. It’s not quiet, but the sounds provide cover, a blanket for solitude in the midst of multitudes.
We have a new granddaughter, Posey November Hodson, and through the interconnection of social media, we have pictures of her first smile, and frowns and the facial gymnastics babies go through in trying to figure out how it all works.
A process that will continue, as it has for us, for the rest of her life.
I have a friend whose marriage of 15 years is coming apart and we talk most days once, twice, as we did when my first marriage came apart. But we lived closer then, and we would meet and sometimes not talk at all as my heart constricted and struggled to beat.
It feels I am too far away to be much help, support.
I have a friend who was so few days ago diagnosed with lung cancer, and I have spoken with his wife, but long distance is no place to be in sorting out the nuance of what that means.
It feels I am too far away to be much help or support.
It is a day when I feel too far away from all of it, from family I love, and friends, my son and his family in Brooklyn, my daughter and her husband in New Jersey.
I want to hold them all close now, this day of distance and reflection.
And I know that’s not how it works; we make decisions, live as we see life open up to us, travel, plant seeds.
Tracy’s daughter Aubrey lost a friend yesterday. A lady Tracy’s age, a counselor and friend to many, a vibrant, fit, healthy woman whose aorta burst as she was swimming at a health club. She was transported to the hospital where Aubrey works in cardio-thoracic care, and arrived as another patient needing urgent care, another unknown patient until Aubrey read her name on the chart; a friend.
There really was nothing they could do at that point.
Her husband had left the health club before her and didn’t know until he got the call. He was numb, disbelieving, the pain written into his face, holding his wife’s hand as life slipped away. Aubrey, ever one to feel the pain of others, invited him to lay in the bed with her. He did, tears streaming down his face.
Life, death. The death of relationships, the birth of others.
My grandpa G, (and I am Grampa G now, time no respecter of memories), at 90, sitting in his old recliner, looked past me into his own time and said, “But Rog, it all went so fast.”
Yes it does.
It is good, this life.
Good to embrace, to breath in deeply and exhale.
To try this thing and that, to grab hold and live each day, to embrace family and friends, to love. To be nobody else but you, and the best you you can be.
This day, today, I am reminded again of that.