Well, I guess technically I do, but it’s a propane thing we leave on the back patio for those evenings we want to keep our feet warm while we look at the stars.
My real wood burning fireplace was left when I gave my house of 23 years to my then wife and kids..
Let us just say that that house is where my friends Rob and Leslie shared life with us for years as we were all growing up to be “adults.” Rob had his love that he worked so hard for, and I had mine. We ended up marrying both of our “projects” and having lovely children and reasonably happy lives. Probably far happier in retrospective, than they were while we were going through some of the trials, but isn’t that the way of life. If anyone described childbirth accurately, nobody would ever have sex, but after its over, the memories are warm.
As far as Leslie is concerned, I’m surprised we stayed such good friends, as I called her Stephanie half the time. Through the magic of FaceBook, we got to know each other again pretty well the past couple of years.
I am writing by the grace of Harrys Hof Brau, by the beautiful fireplace that they have provided. Today it is apparently exclusively for my self centered solace. I am in shock.
I got the news today that one of my dearest and oldest friends, Leslie, has passed on. She was not in the best of health, but the circumstances have left us all numb. She was walking up a staircase, fell backwards and never recovered from her coma. She was in her 40’s with a loving husband and two wonderful kids. I was the “best man” at their wedding. It is a pretty stark wakeup call, but if nothing else it helps put things in perspective. It is skillful to consider these things when we are caught up in our own “shit.”
I sit in frustration for my current wife, as she desperately struggles to understand why my daughters, their aunts and uncles, etc. cannot get along long enough to have a holiday meal together. This is the kind of shit that would have occupied my thoughts for the majority of the day.
I also sit in humble appreciation, by the fireplace at Harry’s, that we have houses to invite people to, that we have reasonable health, and that we have good friends. Especially when we lose one so suddenly and tragically, it makes all of the dribble regarding where we spend Thanksgiving seem incredibly inconsequential.
Be nice to people, hug everybody you see. We have no idea when our number will be called, and if they went by merit I’d be long gone so count every day as another opportunity to make things right. You might not ever get there, like I might not ever get there with ex in-laws or my girls, but one thing is for sure. If you don’t try, you sure as hell won’t ever do it.
God be with you Les. You will be missed by more than you can count. God be with those you left behind, because your absence will be felt more than you ever could have known. I’ll miss your FB updates. Love you ‘sis.
Her last post on FB http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElrHsX3ysIk&feature=share