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Monday, January 30, 2017

TURNING PAGES


Mike Connors
Barbara Hale
Mary Tyler Moore
Roberta Peters
Eugene Cernan
Buddy Greco
Andy Marte
Charles Shackleford

All these people are people who I knew of while I grew up. They all have something in common, they have passed in 2017. This I am finding shocking and unacceptable.

What happened to my youth? What has been going on that my comfort zone, that is my parents, famous people I knew from the worlds of entertainment and sports have gone beyond the great divide? Is there a way I can reclaim that time? Are all the places I visited still there in their original state, or did that die too?

Once there were members of my family that I enjoyed seeing or calling, gone to their eternal rest, another part of life faded in the process, never more to be seen. Suddenly I am the last generation, the generation that remembers all, that will relay the family history and the times that were to the younger generations, the middle-aged.

And those entertainers, the actors and musicians, comedians and sports figures, that are still alive, the people from my youth that may not have appeared publicly in 30 or 40 years are still alive, do you see what they look like today? 

I remember the days past where I wondered what I would be when I grew up, of dreams that were only vague and times that seemed settled and secure in the cocoon of my parent's home. I recall I couldn't wait for tomorrow, and my parent's telling me that tomorrow will come soon enough. I can remember the enthusiasm of each beautiful spring morning and summer day as the feeling of joy consumed me as I ran out of my house to find my friends and play. The freedom of the grass under my feet and the waters of Bellport Bay or Dunton Avenue Lake, where I learned to swim and dive off the wooden dam that separated the lake from the Great South Bay. Where are those days?

There were the rich days of growing up on the streets of Brooklyn, the fights I got into and the games I played until sunset, an ice cream pop still lingering in my mouth as Mom sounded the announcement that times was up, time to come home and go to bed.

And along the way, as a young man in high school, college, and beginning to work, the first time I met my wife, the joy of my children being born, where did that go?

I recall friends that I started out working with, men and women older than me who took a liking to me, all seem to have passed on, gone sometimes unannounced, and with their demise, they took another page away from my book of life, the mental notes I inscribed into the margins, the echo of past conversation, gone forever, how do I replace all that?

Someday when I'm gone, hopefully resting in God's kingdom, I will meet them all once again, and maybe that is what Heaven is all about.



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