Friday, January 8, 2016

The Inevitability Of Life

                                                The Inevitability Of Life
            This morning I sat waiting in the pulmonia outside the Mercado in Historico Old Town Mazatlan. The streets swarmed with carts, buses, autos, pedestrians, bicycles. I squinched my eyes and reduced the sights to kaleidoscopic colors, brilliant in the sun. I could smell meats on the grills across the street, guavas and oranges from the cart behind me. Shouts of vendors, of laughter; voices conversing in several languages filled my ears. Tears for no reason ran down my cheeks.

            I returned home, stowed my purchases and opened an email from my daughter. “Mom, I just want you to know I love you. Dad passed away about thirty minutes ago. He wasn’t in any pain. He went peacefully.” She ended with, “Dad is at peace now. I love you.”

            No, I have no psychic “gift”, if gift is what it is. Premonition, maybe. Harvey had returned to Glendive from the VA Hospital in Helena. He was in Hospice care. We knew he’d go soon. He was on my mind.

            Most folks on the High Line knew Harvey or had met him at one time or another in his life. He was a cowboy, a story-teller and an artist.

            He and I were married ten years, shared some good times, some rough patches. We had a son who didn’t live and our daughter, Dee Dee. She moved to Glendive to be near him his last years. When I read Dee’s note, I cried my second tears of the day.

            I don’t know much, I’m not wise, but I believe we never stop loving somebody who was once an important part of our life. We don’t turn feelings on and off like a faucet.  Despite our differences, most of which didn’t matter in the long run, a residual love lingered for that person with whom I had once fallen in love. My heart goes out to Harvey’s wife Pam, to the children they adopted and, of course, to our daughter, Dee Dee.

Dee Dee is not her real name but Harvey had Deborah Diane nick-named and on a horse before we ever left the hospital. “Old Indian trick,” he’d say.

            His last couple of years were not easy, were fraught with illness. I’m glad Harvey is at peace.

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door

December 10, 2015

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