Kickass, the doorstop dog, reports that the keeper and his ilk don’t get through many days without news of a family member, friend or acquaintance doing the grand exit. It’s one of the things that come with the territory, and if it didn’t, there would be impossible “walker” traffic jams in the crowded care centers.
It is all part of the great cycle, of course: We come in celebrated as little bundled gifts, delighting the adults with our cuteness, and then dominating their lives through our own subsequent reproduction–think grandchildren—as the cycle sweeps us up.
Then—somehow totally unexpectedly, it gets near the end, and we don’t want to exit–none of us, because it has been such a great ride.
Cousin Edgar Anderson left a month ago, friend Tom Lyons checked out a week or so ago, and word was received yesterday that acquaintance Carrie Lee Nelson–Gaylord’s wife, left us at the age of 98. Gaylord once told the keeper that Carrie Lee delighted in some of the keeper’s stories about John Lawton, Gaylord’s former law partner and the keeper’s long time fishing and hunting companion. Memories of those days come flooding back, as do others of cousin Edgar’s shenanigans and there are fresher pleasant recollections of Brewer baseball games with the likes of Tom and Dan Wisniewski, a fishing partner who also exited this past year.
The cliché of “gone but not forgotten” rides with the keeper and his crowd on this St. Patrick’s Day of 2021 as they “Rage, Rage against the dying of the light” by toasting it with a glass of green beer and anticipating many future performances.