You would have been 50 today. Such a strange thought. Hard to imagine you with the gray hair you so desperately pined for, thinking that people would take you more seriously, or maybe pay you more. You were never a vain man, at least not when it came to a bigger pay check. I suspect that the 5-0 mark would have hit you hard though, the way it often does with men who must face their mortality. I hope you would Â have gone the little red sports car route rather than the hot secretary one. I suspect you would have found the secretary too complicated, so I will picture you in your Aston Martin ala 007.
You would’ve been the proud parent of teenagers. How would that have suited you I wonder? A mixture of pride and consternation I suspect. Like me. She is stunningly beautiful, just as you imagined she would be. He is charming, will be suave as you were. Not the bottle wielding whining baby you remember. Hardly that. Me? More wrinkles, glasses that you would’ve insisted looked “cute” on me, but that I think make me look old. I am the vain one.
We began the day with a rugged 2 mile sea kayak paddle that will have us popping Aleve tomorrow. You would have loved it and would’ve marveled at your children and me, paddling like pros.
Then weÂ went snorkeling in your honor.Â Underwater it’s quiet, tomb-like, zennish. You are forced to hear yourself breathe. We pointed at brightly colored fish, our widened eyes our only mode of expression. I thought of you there with us as we swam, trying equally hard to express your excitement, directing us this way and that in a world you can perhaps inhabit on a whim. Maybe you were one of those fish gaping at us, quietly smiling your coy 007 smile.
Thankfully I had no pre-conceived notions as to what your 50th might look like, so breathing loudly amongst fishes seemed entirely apt.
I remember the time we were in Mexico together when your Spanish words saved a life from a wily scorpion’s sting. The irony that we are in Mexico today seems all the more poignant with that memory. A life saved, a life taken away. Death is non-discretionary.
Another year goes by without you in it but you are remembered in the fishes that swim about us with the gray hair you never had, as the hard-nosed, marshmallow of a parent of teenagers that you never were.
Still loved. Forever loved, you fish amongst fishes.