Dear Dan,

Rule #1: Sometimes people die.

Rule #2: Death cannot be cured.

Rule #3: Doctors cannot change Rule #1 or Rule #2.

I know that. This is the 22nd anniversary of Dad’s death. Sometimes it feels like this happened a moment ago and sometimes it feels like an eon ago. I think of where you were and what you were doing, where I was and what I was doing, how we were told, etc.

This is one more reason I’ve been feeling weepy recently — aside from what I posted on my other blog.

So this year I’m toasting dad’s life and your life. Hopefully, the two of you are together and have talked it all out.

I am going to think about Alex. Her birthday is today and it’s a happy thing — for me if not for her. I’ll send her a card and be happy for the fact that she was brought into this world. I am lucky to have her as a close friend, even though we don’t see each other.

I am going to spend some time doing something for A’ndrea. She won’t get a chance to shovel her own walk and we don’t want her getting fined. Doing this — as much as I hate the snow — will be a way of expressing thank for her being such a good friend as well.

I am determined to get away from the weepies and make this day better in thanks to all those I am thankful for having in my life, no matter how transient it all might be.

Thank you for having been on this planet for 52 years.

I love you and miss you, bro.

Christmas in Vermont

Dear Dan,

‘Tis the season. Every time I hear the song “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” I think of you. I wish you would be home or Christmas. And I guess you will be! Just not in the flesh.

I’ve been thinking about the Christmases you spent in Vermont with Nan and family. You certainly enjoyed those! I hope they know how much. You didn’t like snow usually but you said there was something about Vermont that looked like Christmas should. Plus there were so many people around; lots of activity and noise. Also the way Christmas should be.

You would call mom and me separately on Christmas morning. You usually called  me early in the morning before the festivities began and the house was still quiet. The last time you were telling me about their old dog that would come lay his head in your lap and you would pet it. You sounded so nice, relaxed and at peace.

I think those Christmases were some of the happiest times you had in the recent years and I am so grateful to Nan, Fred, Jay et al.

I love you, Dan.

Dr. Pepper

Dear Dan,

Thanks for stopping by! Nice to see you for at least a moment. You’re looking great! Yes, I got the message and I know that it was one of “those dreams.”  I watched John Edward enough to recognize a visitation when I get one.

I have two questions. Thanks for the Dr. Pepper but why did it change to cherry Dr. Pepper and then to cherry Pepsi? But it’s good to know you still like Dr. Pepper the way you used to.

Second question — you’re not taking mom with you yet, are you? Please don’t.

I love you Danno.

This is so you!

Dear Dan,
I saw this and thought of you right away. While the guy doesn’t look like you, this is still a classic “Dan” move — cat and all. If you were still alive, I would send it via email.
You’re not, so I send it via blog.
I love you Danno.

Parking garages

Dear Dan,

The world is becoming overrun with parking garages. They are becoming the only available places to park. I have to face that fact.

I realized this shortly after you jumped. For the past 2+ years I have at various times parked in garages, always choosing the lower floors. There have been only two times I’ve been to the top and both times it was A) due to necessity and B) at a garage with less than 7 floors.

Now that am working back on campus instead of a downtown location I can usually park in a lot adjacent to the garage. However, several days ago I was a little later than usual. All the spaces in the lot were taken and I had to park in the dreaded garage.

I was lucky! There was a space on the ramp area between the 1st and 2nd floor. That meant one staircase and I was out. After work I would only have to go up the ramp and down again to get out.

If only it had been that easy! As I was walking to the garage after work I noticed I was having a bit of a panic attack. I was having trouble facing going into the garage but I couldn’t figure out any other way to get the car out and go home. By the time I got to the car I was talking to myself, trying to talk myself into calming down. I could barely get the key in the lock to open the door.

I drove to the top of that ramp and made the turn to drive across that level to the ramp to get out. I almost didn’t stop to look for oncoming cars. By the time I was at the exit I was gulping for breath and crying.

I guess I’m not as good with garages as I thought and I hoped I was. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to park in a garage without thinking.

Did you know Scott can’t go into a parking garage at all? Mom isn’t much better.

Speaking of mom, she surrendered her license. She said she doesn’t feel comfortable behind the wheel. Her mind wanders and she’s afraid that she’ll hurt or kill someone she she gave up her license and it was all her idea. I’m proud of her for that. I know you are too.

I love you Danno.

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