Today is a bit of a tender day.
I had planned and written a Flashback Friday post... but life is such that you never know what will make up a day.
Yesterday, my Dad's best friend from high school passed away. And while this friend and I were only bound by our mutual closeness to my Dad... still. The thought of his 3 young daughters mourning their father on a cold Beaufort County day hit me.
As time is wont to do, it can wind around and seem to curve in on itself. And it did this morning when I looked at the friend's video tribute, and the healings of a year-gone melted. I was all of a sudden the grieving daughter standing in the winter wind trying to hold myself into one coherent piece, as I dimly watched the ceremony that commemorated my own Dad.
The pieces that make up a memorial are rather random, as it turns out. The military part of the funeral, while dignified, held no emotion for me. The soldier Floyd was not a man I knew. Yet from many accounts, that time of his life impacted the rest of his life, so maybe I knew him after all. The various friends and family that stood and attested to a life well-spent were all dear and I remember them all with varying degrees of clarity. The framed poster-size print standing on the green funeral carpeting bore little relation to the man I loved.
Somehow it is the memories of Dad's close friends that bring it all home. Because though a man is made of many parts, his friends offer a window of truth into the person. And that little piece of something that clicks between two people will always intrigue me. Always draw me in, to know and attempt to unravel the relationship that binds two together.
This morning it all came down to degrees of separation. For a moment longer I was close to my Dad through the ties of another. In some small way, as I remembered his friend, and thought of their reunion in that other realm, I was with Dad. I could touch him briefly and ride the palpable wave of emotion that is mostly suppressed. Because I was mourning another, that he would have mourned.
And so this Flashback Friday is given to friends old and new, that we might all appreciate those little glimpses of human connection, and know that in the long run, in the final say, we were Known as we walked this earth. The older you get, the more you need the friends that knew you when you were young.
Be pain-free and at peace, Flipper. You deserve it, old friend.