One habit that crept up on me as I reached a certain age was perusing the obituaries. i think it enabled me to rejoice in the advanced ages that folks lived to, and also to give me a gut check that any day can be your last. It reminds me to take care of myself so I do not die of a preventable malady. It also reminds me that some fate or other will claim me in time. I do not dwell on the sad angle, though i am occasionally moved by a picture or a quote embedded in a remembrance. Today was such a day.
The length of the tribute first attracted me, and then the cute face, and finally, the initial sentence of the obituary. "Wesley Keith Lind collapsed shortly before completing the third game of his twice weekly bowling league on May 13, 2011. " Okay, you say- heart attack? No- complications of leukemia and congestive heart failure. The man was 89. Ill. But faithful to his bowling obligation. Read about him here. Please...you will not be disappointed or depressed. You will be inspired. Whoever penned these words honored him, and made him someone we all would like to know. What a fine legacy!
His story came on a good day for me, as I trundled through my garden, remembering the young days, when I could tote the large bags of potting soil without a grunt. Getting up from a planting spree with my fake knee requires a ridiculous tent move, and it isn't pretty. In a skirt, it would be porn. Yet, more than once today, I rejoiced that I could garden at all. Two years ago my knee was so painful that I could not move it. Last year, I did not plant because I was recovering from the replacement. Today, I was creaky, but exultant.
I could sink impatience in the dirt! Fill pots! Drag a wrought iron planter from the front yard to the back! Activate my fountain! Whack off the low limbs of a pine tree- (now a sort of bonsai.)
Mind you- my invading army of bunnies and birds has already beheaded Thursday's work. I am undaunted. I relocated my fake owl to try to psych them, but even I can see he is plastic with glass eyes. I am not to be deterred or defeated. Perhaps I will plant carrots and berries for the interlopers. I feel like Bill Murray in Caddyshack trying to outfox my varmits. It may be a losing battle, but Wesley kept up the good assault on life, and I plan to as well.
On this day, too- a group of friends headed to the Sox game to honor my physical therapist/new friend Gus Flick, who died in January of a virulent cancer at the young age of 51. He was a lifeline to many patients, a loving husband and father, a cheery co-worker and mentor to many. He was "the best" to all who crossed his path. Steve went to the game, but I deferred to Pat. I did not want to butt into his inner circle, and of course, I would have. Besides, I am not a "die hard" White Sox fan. Gus was. His friends and family tail-gated, and I am sure they felt his spirit among them. Twice the scoreboard flashed a reference to Gus: Pat Dahl again came through for me, and welcomed Gus' pals on the screen. The Gus Fan Club added a memorial wish.
It was a great day at the park, and the Sox managed a win for their #1 fan. Then God raised a weather ruckus- or was it Gus roaring to his loved ones? Who knows? Maybe the sound was really NOT thunder, but Gus and Wesley bowling in the REALLY Magic Kingdom.