Friday was David’s birthday. I think of him often (in general), and always in January. He would have been 63.

       “Look around me
       I can see my life before me
       Running rings around the way
       It used to be…”

He was a runner—I’d see him jogging through downtown. And a gardener. How I’d kvetch as he made me walk his garden. And a friend. An invaluable friend.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. We’d sit at The Theatrical, young studs in mid-20s, living every day, never dreaming there could be no tomorrow.

       “I am older now
       I have more than what I wanted
       But I wish that I had started
       Long before I did…”

For years in recovery I heard it: “There are no guarantees. All we have is today.”

Never did I get it …really. No, ‘ didn’t sink in ‘til the last few years—maybe after David died, or perhaps weeks later when brother-in-law Benny dropped dead…neither of them quite sixty.

So that’s why it hurts. That’s why as they preach “Be patient” and as I pray for answers…… it stings.

And stinks.

There’s a grandson I’ve never seen and his sister I’ve never held—

What are they doing? What are they learning? How is their health?

When my dust settles, will they be told I didn’t love them? Or will they be told the truth. And by whom?

Ah, but if my dad was alive!

“This too will pass,” he’d assure, and I’d feel better. My father—after all— had all the answers. And my father (I well knew), would live forever.

Forever came August 9, 1985 with Michael 7, Jamie 5, and little Stacy but 2. Al Bogart, a man larger than life, a man who would live forever, woke up dead.

He was 59.

       “And there’s so much time to make up
       Everywhere you turn
       Time we have wasted on the way
       So much water moving
       Underneath the bridge
       Let the water come and carry us away

       Let the water come and carry us away.”                                                                                                                                            

Graham Nash


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