It is October 15th. My niece is turning sweet 16, about the age I was when I met the boy in Strawberry Wine. The rest is country music history. Ha. The trajectory of time is stunning to me these days. I can’t believe I was that young and thought I knew what I was doing.
My stepson, Jaime, and his wife are expecting their first child. I married Jeff when Jaime was just a teenager, I knew his wife when she was just Harry Stinson’s little girl bringing me coffee when I wrote with her dad. And a sweet baby is coming soon.
Then…my stepbrother, Paul Kirby, suddenly died from an illness no one saw coming. I idolized him and his band, Walk the West. Followed them around like a puppy dog. I’d never heard of Elvis Costello, or the Police, or Jason and the Scorchers till then. Paul died on a crystal blue September day, just like my mother did in 1984, far too young. I am thinking about the last episode of Six Feet Under. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it. I now want to hold every moment with fingers closed, hands cupped, and drink it in. These are precious times, no matter how blah they can feel sometimes. Oh…and I want to call that person I have been meaning to talk to but just couldn’t grab the time. Hold someone I love real tight and breathe them in. You know what I mean…and how many times have I made this vow? Paul, I love you. Will miss you. and… I hope I’ve learned. Now shake the dust off of your wings, time to fly…not a cloud to slow you down.