Thursday, September 30, 2021

An Inheritance

These past few days K and I drove to the big city and back to meet with friends. We don't expect to get a chance to do this sort of thing much - since the pandemic and its many waves made it inadvisable, and in some cases against the law, to travel for a gathering with friends. 

The occasion was a "celebration of life" for a good friend's mother. She and I hadn't seen each other since I was in school. I phoned her not long after her husband died, and had a lovely conversation. Sadly, soon after, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. After that, it would have been quite pointless to visit. I was never really part of her life, and yet, in a very important way, she has always been part of mine. 

This realization came as her son, a close friend in school and since, read the eulogy for his mother. He and I have always had a very comfortable relationship, which included spending time in the other's home, playing music and sharing meals. We are both only children, and in many ways it was like having a brother. Sometimes, because of circumstance, we have been apart for years, but every time we talk it is as though no time has passed at all. We each have the wonderful ability to bring out the best in the other. No matter how sad the news or difficult the time we might be experiencing, we seem to find a way to laugh together. By the time we part again, we feel better for having connected once more. 

What became clear as my friend talked about his mom is that a characteristic we both carry originated, at least partly, with her. She bequeathed it to him and he shared it with me - steady optimism and a quirky sense of humour.

Rest in peace, dear O.L.