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A strange place to muse
Author: TriSec    Date: 07/13/2022 21:38:16

Good evening.

Sunday evenings are my usual foil, but given what I did today, I have some thoughts.

Elaine Bentz of Saugus, MA was laid to rest today. She reached the fine age of 90, and passed on mere days after her 90th birthday last week. Like a work colleague observed, It's like she made it to that milestone, then said "OK, I'm done here". It was that quick.

I haven't seen my friend or his family in a bit over a year, but I was welcomed back with open arms by all of them. It's been 8 years since an unfortunate incident, and I very much regret that when it mattered, I was not "Your Loyal Trisec" for my friend. With his mother on her deathbed last week, we were able to reconcile and maybe try to bring back a little of that old camaraderie.

It is strange mourning another man's mother - but I have known my friend and his family since 1981. That's right when my parents divorced, and in many ways I became a part of their family too, almost to the point of being the "seventh sibling". (They're a family of 6 children.) I have been present at family milestones, weddings...watched divorces, watched all my friends nieces and nephews grow up (and now have babies of their own!) all the while being worried to death about my friend's longterm health, and struggles with addiction and mental health.

All of it snapping into clear focus today, as the anchor that kept us all together has now gone away.

It's also somewhat perturbing to me. My own mother is gone six years this fall. I never really was able to truly mourn her passing...something that I find personally and deeply troubling to this day. I've had a falling out with my own flesh-and-blood brother. We exchange cordial texts every now and again, but nothing more. I'm a new Great-Uncle, but have yet to see my new grand-nephew. I don't know when I will.

As life moves on, and we all age - I'm even finding the links to my hometown are growing thin. My own boyhood home was sold in 1988 after my brother graduated from High School. Grandma's house was sold after my mother passed in 2016. That same High School we all attended was torn down two years ago. My Scout troop folded this year, and now I learn that my second home with my friend's family will be going on the market sometime in the future, and the family will scatter to the four winds.

I suppose if bringing me back into the fold was Elaine's endgame here, she was successful. Despite the circumstances, I was glad to see some family members that I hadn't seen in a long time, and it did feel like everything has gone back to right, even if it is baby steps.

Rest well, Elaine. You have earned this one.

3 comments (Latest Comment: 07/14/2022 15:20:26 by Will_in_LA)
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Comment by Raine on 07/14/2022 12:42:29
I am leaving this for today's blog. I can really understand what you're saying Tri.

Having left upstate NY some 16 years ago, there is little connection to my hometown, san a small group of longtime friends and my sister and her family.

Comment by BobR on 07/14/2022 13:42:44
The house I grew up in is now a funeral home. The room where were had our Christmas tree is now where caskets sit with embalmed bodies. That embalming occurs in a basement room that used to be our "cold cellar".

The yard we played croquet in is paved over.

The downtown area is different, with familiar stores replaced with different ones. Even the public library and the fire station have moved to more modern buildings several blocks away.

It's weird every time I go back, like I am passing into an alternative universe. The juxtaposition my memories against the reality my eyes are absorbing is both jarring and a little heartbreaking.

My childhood is frozen in time, but time marches on regardless.

Comment by Will_in_LA on 07/14/2022 15:20:26
May Elaine's memory be for a blessing.

My old home has changed hands a few times and the small tree that was planted by the City of Chicago in my youth is now large.

Time moves on. However we can hold on to our memories and try to bring healing where we can.