“I want you to cheer up!” chirped the voice Tuesday morning. The smile in her New York accent was unmistakable.
“Caryn Miller!”, I exclaimed, “How’s Brother Stuart?”
“Stuie’s fine,” she responded. “But it’s enough already.”

Fact is my fog, six choppy weeks later, was beginning to lift.

Had it been the loss of my aunt? The nightly rehearsals? The dry of the winter?
Perhaps the issues of family? The pale of my health? The ennui of the artifacts? (Ed. Note 1: After all, how many dusty documents, old photos, or stirred memories can one man take?) …

Perhaps it was the post-Vegas letdown? The mere tedium of work? Or… or … the missed Wednesday breakfasts with the boys?

I was prepared for the end of Aunt Helen; we all were. What I wasn’t ready for, quite clearly, was the end of her era.

Yet I plugged away, daily. All January. Pedaling. Pedaling. Reaching out. Talking. Sharing. Trudging.

I said my prayers in the morning, hit my marks through the day, made the commitments of night. And never did I forget that as God held my hand, Carrie held my heart. I wasn’t alone.

Then January ended.

Michael called with the boys in the car. Lucy Facetimed, dancing and singing. I moved my office, played some poker, and got a car wash. (Ed. Note 3: No, that’s not a typo).

My rhythm returned.

There’s a box of pictures — two hundred or so – stashed in a closet. Lord knows how long I’ve been planning to sift through them … to assemble my favorites … to post in my workplace.

This could be the weekend. The time may be found. Oh, WAIT! There’s the debate to watch… and I’m walking with Bill … and the Super Bowl Poker Tournament in Euclid … and Peyton’s Last Stand.

I’ll think about the photos, I guess — but I may not get to them.

After all, mourning has broken.

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