Love is why I carry a hanky

My Irish grandmother always carried a hanky. She’d stuff it up her sleeve or down her decolletage, what she called her “bosoms.” I thought it was her hay-fever, but now I think I’ve discovered the real reason.

You see, I’ll turn sixty-seven this week, and while I am healthy, I am reminded daily that I am no longer young. Chores and walks take a bit longer. When I look down, it’s my mother’s hands I see. I relish the hour or so I spend stretched out on the couch each afternoon, not sleeping, but simply resting and reading.

Furthermore, I’ve had time to reflect on what this aging business means. You see, I plan to be a very old lady one day. My goal is still to live until my 100th birthday. However, I’m beginning to realize that many of my friends and loved ones won’t be there to celebrate with me. I must learn to balance the contentment I feel each morning with the sadness that yet another dear one has passed. It’s also why my mother advised me to keep making new friends, because the old ones will keep dying.

Last week was rough. Two long-time friends passed away. Two. Both big, strong, active guys–both close to my age–who were simply and quite suddenly gone. Upon hearing the news, I was incredulous, but tried to go about my usual routine. Yoga class. A walk in the neighborhood. I cried during both.

So that’s why my grandmother always carried a hanky!

Still, I know this isn’t about me. The wives and children these men left behind are devastated and heart-broken. They will face each day, diminished is some way, slightly less than they were before. I hope they also know the profoundly positive influences their men had on those lucky enough to call them husband, dad, grandpa, or friend. These were good guys who should have had many more years to go on being good guys. We who loved them are grateful for the gift.missing-you-honest-quotes-about-grief-winnie-the-pooh

Still, the tears come. I have to tell myself that this grief is the price we pay for living and loving each other. For being human.

Throughout my life, I’ve gone through cycles of birthday parties, bridal and baby showers. Now is the time for goodbyes.  Now, whenever I buy a sympathy card, I buy two. Just in case. And that’s why you see me standing at the Hallmark display, sniffing quietly and reaching for my hanky.

11 thoughts on “Love is why I carry a hanky

  1. How lovely, Lorie. You’re a wonderful writer. I’m sorry to hear you lost another friend, too. Randy’s death is so hard to accept. He was one of the sweetest and kindest people I ever knew and we should have had him for many more years. My heart breaks for Sandy. Even though he was not part of my everyday life, I knew there was something right in the world because a man like Randy was in it. Take care and thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so lovely, Lorie, a truly beautiful, heart-felt, universal piece of writing. I reached for a tissue as I read it. We are in the goodbye cycle, and sometimes it hurts so much. You’ve all of us a lot to think about today. Thank you.

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  3. Thank you for your beautiful writing Lorie. It made me smile to read about your love for Randy and your appreciation of how truly wonderful he was. I was so blessed to be his wife, and although the kids and I are devastated by his death, we know that we will see him again some day and meanwhile we are all hoping to live up to his example. I think he was simply the best person I ever knew, and it was comforting to read your words and those of the other women who knew him. I hope that I get to see you again someday soon—perhaps when everything settles down I will make the drive up to Reno and knock on your door! And thank you again for this site–I will be a regular reader…….gratefully, Sandy

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