the river

I was going to write about my son today, since I wrote about my daughter last time. But this past Sunday I learned that a woman I was once married to had died…almost eight months ago. 

I went through the afternoon in disbelief. You see, I’m still traveling “dumb,” with a teenage sense of vulnerability: How could anyone important to me not be completely immortal? Also, why didn’t anyone tell me? 

Before I could find answers to those question I first had to answer another one. Monday morning, back in my office, I pulled out last year’s business appointment notebook. I flipped through the pages. There it was, July 21, 2007, the day Beth died. It was a Saturday and there were no business appointments on that day. But the day prior, a Friday, I noted I was taking the afternoon off to meet an old friend for lunch. He’d contacted me and insisted, “My treat!” 

So while Beth was living her last 24 cancerous hours, I was sitting in a restaurant on the edge of the river, downtown. We talked about many things that afternoon, most of which promised a tomorrow: “I think am going to…,” or, “You know what we should do?”  

As we talked, I noticed out the windows how the afternoon sun highlighted the circling white gulls against the storm-colored sky, and how it caused the whitecaps of the river’s rapids to sparkle, even though the still water was murky. 

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One Comment on “the river”

  1. Dennis Money Says:

    Very touching story. We are indifferent when young, and only appreciate life (at least in my case) and others around us, when we have aged and when something like that happens. But as I now know, dont wait to tell people you care, to share a smile, to tell someone you have been a good friend.

    A few weeks ago my sister had a brain aneurism, Miracles of all miracles, she recovered totally. Truly incredible. Why do I share this? Because it wasnt until this happened that I told her I loved her. It is never too late but it almost was.


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