In the lovely wooded yard behind my friend's home there is a stand of bamboo, just like this one.
As I looked through my photographs to find one that would be just right
for this moment, I found this one.....
An empty bench in front of beautiful bamboo.
And so my friend Doug has left us.
He lived a very good and long life, carrying it on all the way to 92.
His marriage of 68 years was a very good one
and I am happy to know that his dear wife is doing well, though as she told me,
there is a hole in her heart.
I have know this remarkable family for many many years. There are lots of them! In Doug's generation, there were 6 siblings. I have been close friends with 4 of them and their special grace and humor has been a constant gift in my life.
No one I know in my life knows them except my son, and he was too young to really have the relationship I have had.
So I am finding it somewhat lonely not to have anyone with which to share this loss.
Of course there are the others in Doug's family,
but that is not the same as having friends that have a real idea, a deep understanding of what this means in terms of the loss that it is to me.
There are some people that have made life so precious, so celebrated, so funny, so full of care and attention,
that their departure leaves a hole of magnitude....
and an empty bench.
Today I sit on a bench like this and know that anyone who may read this will understand, especially Doug.