April 30, 2014

A Letter To a Friend

Dear Bruce,
      Hi! I wasn't sure where to write this. I thought about writing to your Facebook wall, or sending you a message there, like we used to do, but I wanted to be able to write as much as I wanted. I thought about writing to your email address but I know no one will read it there and neither will you. So I suppose it doesn't matter really. I decided to write here, there's lots of room and I can post some of my favorite pictures of you.
      I miss you. Pat does too, I know. I suppose if he and I are star crossed lovers then you and I must have been star crossed friends. Now when I look for him in another time and space I'll look there for you as well. I expect that I'll probably find you together.
      It is another spring here. Winter was hard, and even today, in a very steady and chilly rain, it seems spring is struggling to emerge. We did have a nice stretch of days where the sun was warm on the deck. I'll always see you there, basking warm in the sun the way you did that last summer you were here. You were such a big part of our building that deck. Did Pat ever tell you that when he saw you out there that first summer you came down, and you couldn't get the chair to sit right on the uneven ground, he decided to put in that deck, because of you? He worked his ass off. I'll always be happy to have seen you sunning yourself there once it was finished.
      Of course I'll never put in another straw bale garden. Wow, wasn't that a lesson learned? You said it was too damp here and I suppose you were right. It certainly didn't fail for lack of effort. We had fun though, didn't we, trying to make holes for the vegetable seedlings in the hard straw? I'll always be thankful to have gotten the chance to know you one-on-one and not just through Pat's eyes.
      I keep your picture postcard from Loon Mountain on the bedroom bureau. The little cardboard stand on the frame falls down at the slightest movement. I suppose I should repair it but every time it falls it makes me think a bit longer about you and remember that I miss you when I stand it back up. I miss your little notes of encouragement all those days in my messages. It was so nice to hear how much you liked that first book cover and how you said it looked like a place you'd like to go. My writing comes from my heart and you are there, my friend, in that place.
      We've not visited Linvilla Orchards, or fished in fact, since we went there last together. Something is missing there now with you gone.
      Your place in Littleton was nice, I know that you wanted to be there all along. Roula told us about the view and the animal visitors you enjoyed on the pond there. I'm glad we went up. I'll always remember you there too, watching the pond in your last days. I met some really nice people on that trip as well. Thanks for that too.
      I put in that damn bee trap last week and I hated doing it. I thought that if you were here you'd have exactly the right solution to the problem. The friends I find I have valued most in my life are the ones that have simple solutions to the everyday dilemmas, the ones that know those solutions in their hearts, the ones that face life with a smile on their faces. They are the friends I always trust for advice. I trusted you, Bruce. I miss you in so many ways.
      In only a good bundle of hours you said things to me that I'll never forget. Things like why it's so hard for a musician to go out and watch someone else perform. I remember how you made me chuckle with that and how you nodded thoughtfully when I told you what's it's like for someone who loves to dance to marry a musician. When you listened you always heard. I try to remember that and listen more myself but I'm so damn full of words and I've not the patience that you had. I never felt alone when you were around, alone in my heart. You were one of a kind, my friend. You might not be here to talk to but  I learned while listening to your ideas, opinions and folklore and for that you still live in my heart and memory. I noticed the other day, when I first was moved to write this, that Pat and another friend posted that they missed you on your wall. I'll say 'hi' from them here. It seems fitting.
      So, even though you can't read this, I want you to know that I miss you, lots of us miss you. You had to know we would. Thanks for coming around when you knew to say goodbye to us all in your easy way.
      With lots of love,


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