Sunday, October 25, 2009

SUNDAY SAD

The river this morning…
It is chilly along the river today—just now, a few minutes past noon, making it above fifty degrees. The weatherman claims we'll mange sixty, but I'm not convinced given his recent track record. At least it is not raining, as it has been for the past few days.
Yesterday a friend came by in and we went out for a couple of hours on a photo excursion. The temperature had been dropping all morning, plus there was intermittent drizzle, and when he got here after a morning at the office, he was already cold, having not left home before his half-day's work with sufficient outerwear. I loaned him an extra insulated field coat and even with that, he never quite got thawed out.
But we made some nice photos, I think—in spite of the cold, damp, dimness.
Today there's sun…so maybe the weatherman's prediction will prove true after all. I hope so. But if not, there's a nice fire crackling on the hearth, plus I've just taken a couple of loaves of pumpkin-spiced carrot and walnut bread from the oven. In a few minutes I'll cut a few slices from one of the still-warm loaves, top with a bit of the cream cheese maple-syrup, cinnamon spread I mixed up last evening for a different bread we had with our late supper, and then I'll sit before the fire awhile with a cup of coffee and my bread.
The yard is full of leaves, most of which fell on Friday during the rain and wind. Eventually they'll get raked into narrow rows and gone over a few passes with the lawnmower. Then, mixed with a bit of topsoil, I'll deploy the excellent mulch around plants and beds.
Some leaves still remain, and they're heartbreakingly beautiful lit by the strong sunlight. The river pours along like molten jade. It is a good day here…or it would be except that yesterday morning a man I knew and liked died suddenly. He'd gone into the laundry room to retrieve some towels from the dryer. His wife heard him fall. He was probably gone when he hit the floor.
Too young to die, being in his fifties. Which, of course, is not true. Young or old, right or poor. Such details are meaningless. We never know when and where death will find us. But it always does, and we always must go.
Walt was a good and decent man. Kind, generous, thoughtful. This world would be a far better place if there were more like him around. Men who think of others before themselves. Men who greet you with a word and smile. Alas, there's now one fewer…
I usually try and answer all post comments on the day they're received. Yesterday I failed, and I apologize. But after my photographer friend left, and the night closed in, I simply couldn't write. I hope that's okay, hope you understand, will overlook and forgive my lapse.
Last night all I could do was sit quietly before the fire….

36 comments:

TheChicGeek said...

Hello Scribe. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend, Walt. He sounds like he lived his life in a way so as to be a treasure to all who knew him. My thoughts and prayers will be lifted for you, your friend and his family today.

I send you love, a big hug and many blessings today, Scribe.

May the peace of the river comfort you today.
xxO
Kelly

The Solitary Walker said...

My thoughts are with you... What can I say? The chill is here. But the sun's warmth returns, always. (Trite, I know). And the maple's golden radiance glows in your heart. And in the heart of the many others who are left.

giggles said...

Oh. So sad for your loss.... (And I do believe fifty-something IS too young...seeing as how I am approaching that milestone....) But I get your point, too.

Thoughts and prayers for you and Walt's family, too....

Rowan said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend, the world is always poorer when someone kind and generous and thoughtful dies but hopefully his example will inspire others to try and be like him. Sitting before your fire and remembering him is a good way to begin to work through your sadness.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

You were honouring your friend and attending to your grief. Exactly what we all should do in the wake of such a shock. Take care of yourself. I am sorry for your loss.

Gail said...

Dear Grizz-

Sit by the fire, be still, enjoy your pumpkin-carrot-spice bread and coffee - reflect as you will for as long as you desire - I am sorry to hear of Walt's untimely passing - I feel his strength of character simply because he was your friend.

Love and peace
Gail

Jain said...

Please accept my sympathies over the loss your friend, Scribe. And no need to comment back, sometimes silence is fine.

madcobug said...

The river and tees are beautiful. My condolences to you and your friend's family. May God give comfort to each one.
You are about the only person I know who answers their comments from their blogs. Bet that takes a lot of time.
Helen

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

ChicGeek…

I didn't know Walt really well—but not once during the decade or more since we met did he ever fail to be friendly, thoughtful, and generous. He was a truly nice man.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Solitary…

Not trite at all, my friend. Thank you.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

One simply never knows when that moment of departure comes—but it does seem, sometimes, that the call comes too early for some.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rowan…

We are all diminished by loss. And I do understand it is life's way. But memory seems a poor substitute for someone you liked, a good man gone so suddenly.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

I just suddenly found I couldn't do anything but sit quietly and try to find answers without thinking about the questions. Which I guess doesn't make much sense….

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I have had a good day here. A bit introspective, and tinged with sadness…but the bread was good and the river always heals.

Thank you.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jain…

Thank you for writing. And yes, sometimes the best medicine is solitude and peace. Or returning a comment.

KGMom said...

Scribe--so sorry you have lost (another) friend. Death comes to all, but we who remain understandably grieve.
Several years ago, I read the wonderful novel PEACE LIKE A RIVER--may it be so for you.

(p.s. the rain of Saturday is what we had for our daughter's wedding. Then today, Sunday, it was gloriously sunny. Oh well, a sunny day to begin a new marriage--not bad at all.)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Helen…

I began this blog with the notion that if someone ever took their time to comment, I'd take my time to answer. Yes, it takes time. But to me blogging is more than simply putting up the posts.

I don't blog to showcase my writing or photography skills, such as they may be; I'm not out to impress anyone. I know me better than anyone…and I'm definitely not impressed.

I blog to share, to communicate. Communicating is a two-way street. We all live under the same sun, walk the same earth, feel the same pain and joy. Why would someone blog and fail to communicate with their fellow sojourners who've looked their way and spoken?

I appreciate each and every visitor, appreciate their time. Appreciate that they take the time to communicate. Nope, I'll always try and write back. And if I can't…I'll say so.

Thank you for your nice words.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

I wonder how the wedding went, and whether or not you had rain. But I'm sure the day was not dampened—and you're right, today was perfect in setting for starting a new life together.

Thank you for writing, too. I know you must be exhausted.

Kelly said...

...I'm so sorry for your loss. When someone you love is taken, regular living is suspended. I hope you can take comfort in your memories (although that never really worked for me at the beginning. It just made me sadder). Words seem so hollow... I just lost a friend who was 49. It is not a good feeling. Sending you peace.

Jenn Jilks said...

My deepest condolences, Griz.

I am in my 50s and I have given strict instructions to my daughter: the first 3 signs of dementia and I am out on the raft in the middle of the lake.

I would rather go quickly, than to decline. We all make these choices. You must respect your friend's choices.

My book, about being in long-term care, and my dad who suffered months with his brain tumour, is a testament to this kind of death. Yes, it is hard for those who remain, but it is a dignified death. You hold up your chin. Keep to the path.

As a hospice volunteer I am taking a course over Tuesday and Wednesday, over grief. We just have to learn how to grieve, as we cannot control the circumstances, methinks. Honour Walt's memory. Honour yourself. You are a beautiful person.

Debbie said...

I'll forgive you if you'll share those recipes. Sounds very good! I am so sorry to hear that you lost such a nice friend. You're right; there aren't too like that around.
Debbie

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kelly…

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

Walt's passing was both sudden and unexpected. That makes it more difficult, I think…but I'm glad for his sake.

Thank you for writing.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jenn…

I don't think Walt chose—he likely either suffered a heart attack or stroke; a loose clot that simply took him in an instant.

But I understand what you say. I think we all have to right to make certain decisions regarding our end days, a DNR order for example. Yet that choice is not always ours. In death, as in life, we must do the best we can with what we're handed.

I've cared for, watched, and been with a number of friends and family members whose passing was long drawn out—and I've witnessed their dignity and human example during this time. The lessons were not lost. Sometimes we are given to codify the whole of our life—values, beliefs, history and the mettle of who we are—through our dying.

Thank you for your thoughtful and understanding comments.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Debbie…

I'll do a post on the bread and spread soon. It isn't fancy or difficult, but sure is tasty. I took several photos of today's finished loaves and would like to do a few more.

Give me a bit of time.

And thank you.

Robin said...

Sending good thoughts your way. And sending, and sending and sending. I'm so sorry.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Robin…

Thank you…truly. That means much.

Bernie said...

I am sorry to read of the passing of your friend Walt, I am also thinking of his wife and family. I will keep all of you in my prayers.
Enjoy your crackling fire and home made breads, they sound delicious.
as always.....:-) Hugs

Jayne said...

Indeed, too young to die, but like you said, none of us knows... so sorry for the loss of a good man so suddenly. May warmth and peace surround his family and those who knew him.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

Who knows what a day may bring…

Thank you—always.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

We don't know the time, place, or manner, simply that it is inevitable. Small comfort, that.

Thank you.

Deb said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Sitting by the fire sounds like a very appropriate response.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Deb…

It was. And thank you, sincerely.

Grace said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. An old neighbor from my childhood died this past week too. He was a poet and lover of nature. I used to see him walking all the time, and I typed up his poems once for him. Unfortuntely I was too shy to really get to know him when I lived there.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Grace…

I've done a few things in my life I wish I could do over—but more than anything, I regret the things I didn't do…the words I never spoke, the calls I didn't make, the visits and letters and time not spent. Why is it so hard to give even the smallest piece of ourselves to others? Why don't we make the effort to get to know someone?

Life is so much richer when we expand our world beyond ourselves. People are treasures…and you never know the difference even a single kind word can make.

It is a hard lesson to learn, and harder to put into practice. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

I'm sorry to hear about your poet neighbor. Thank you for telling me this. I appreciate the thoughtfulness.

Grace said...

Wise words--I know them, but need to be reminded. It's something that comes so easily to some (like my partner), but for people like me, it can be the hardiest thing. I don't know why. At least I'm not as shy as I used to be; as you say, "the more you do it, the easier it becomes."

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Grace…

Underneath the bluster and bravado, the titles and accolades, we're all just people making our way along. The worthwhile ones—the ones who matter—will understand your shyness and perhaps remember when they too were equally shy. Time and practice will help a lot. Smile, speak—as it's always easier to speak to someone who's now smiling back.