For the life of me I can’t get motivated to do stuff I absolutely loathe doing. As you used to say, “do your 8 and skate”. The days are kind of a blur the last few months. People going crazy over a virus, civil unrest, no sports, closed bars and restaurants, people with masks, people constantly on edge, people looking for drama, people running from it. It’s a beautiful morning and I am trying to channel your calm. I think how animated you would be sometimes and then I think of times when you were just driving around enjoying the sites and smells of pre summer days. Almost the floral or fruity smell that will sometimes pop up. It happens to me on my bike rides, along with many robins. I don’t have much energy for the back and forth or arguments or debates at this point. I just kind of want some quiet. I think of you sitting out front of Chrissy’s apartment on her little patio, just enjoying the simplest of pleasures….basically free. Sun, sand, ocean, and fresh air. The things you truly cherished in this lifetime. I think of the things you were able to do in your time here, but then I think of all the missed opportunities. I wish you got some more time to relax, but I also know you liked to keep busy. Cleaning here, deli there, bakery, and helping people with this or that. Just going to “stop by” and see us, no pressure. It’s kind of ironic. As we are here, we feel this life we are living in or stuck in is so permanent; I know you probably wanted to run somewhere close to water and take us all with you. I think of what may have been your dreams in life; I don’t think we talked much about what you wanted to be before we came along. I wonder about that. Like a quote from one of my favorite movie, “I believe we have two lives. The one we learn with and the one with live with….” Things have been up and down since you left us. I would like to say more up than down, but I would probably be shorting the Covid and current social events, so I will just say that it’s been a trying time. I often see an image of you in places you have been. When I come home from getting some things at the store, I picture you at the top of my landing as you would trudge up 20+ steps like you were walking the stairs of the Titanic. Haha. Your clear plastic bag with your things inside your pocketbook. I think about the last few times you were here. They were good times. They were peaceful and calm. I am remise to remember the actual last time you were here because we had my birthday dinner at the Erin and then you went down the shore. It still bothers me that you went home to an empty house and I came home to an empty apartment. You seemed sad, but said, “you should’ve just come here….I’m all alone…” I hope through your life and the afterlife, you realize you are always the biggest part of our hearts and our souls. I see others who have lost parents. It is some other world, some other club, you never know when you’re going to get invited to. We definitely got invited too early, but then again, some never get even a year with their parents; much less 30 or 40. Maybe you knew something we didn’t when you were popping us out in the 70’s and 80’s. I think about our simple times. The times at the pool. The world was so big, but all we cared about was our little space and our pool cards…402. I know you can see that some of us are struggling; as I heard of some recent deaths, a young one, Chrissy said, “I am happy Mom didn’t have to bury one of us…” After seeing what Pop Pop’s passing did to you and knowing how much you missed your “best friend”, I take solace in the fact you didn’t have to bury any of us. I don’t think you could’ve recovered from that. I see people, well, I know of people who have lost parents or close siblings. I see people who are struggling, I see myself, I see us, I see people who have grown or prospered, I see people who are running in quicksand. Days like today I woke up and saw the sun peeking through my black out shades and I just thought today is a day you would just be excited to leave the house and get your day started. I know changes are coming. I would love to change jobs and I need to put more serious effort into that. The virus kinda put a damper on a lot of things like that, but at least have some things mapped out. The house, well, eventually I will move. Sometimes I think I am supposed to be somewhere else, somewhere I can enjoy nature and some water. Where that is, I don’t really know. I guess I will know it when I get there. I miss our chats during the day. I miss your warm conversations and laughter. I miss what we had with you. I guess that’s what it comes down to. I miss the relationship we had with you, but I am so grateful that we did have that type of relationship with you. You really did know how to make all of us feel special in your own way. I am thankful for that. If anyone calls a son a momma’s boy, well, that’s a compliment in my book. Anyone who denies that is just jealous of what we have. Same goes for daughters. After I grew up, you had them all to yourself. I also think about that. All those hours of playing in their room, you downstairs or at work or just doing your thing. You always just kept us together. Through good times and bad, you showed us care that sometimes we did not even have for ourselves. I wish you were here just to see how all this turns out. A laugh here. A cry there. Some good meals. Some good drinks. I just wanted you to have a break and to sit back and enjoy life with us and your grandkids. I think of you and Lucy. How you would just delight in seeing her and how funny she is and just making funny comments to her and being “you” with her. Little Acey too. I just think you would’ve loved spending so much time with them. I wish you could’ve just relaxed more instead always running. In some ways I think running wore you down. At some point the race needed to end and you could stop and just enjoy finishing and being at peace with yourself. I hope someday we can make peace or sense about your passing. I really wish there had been a different outcome. I think, above all, you deserved it. I don’t care that I am partial. You earned that right. We deserved to have you….at least until you could’ve officially retired and enjoyed your golden years. I guess some things aren’t meant to be. Funny how life can teach us that.