Thursday, January 7, 2016


Frank Tempest died on Christmas Eve.  

I didn't find that out until yesterday.  I visited the nursing home after almost a month away.  I went to his room, as usual, but he was not there.  That was when the nurse told me that he was no longer with us.  Frank died of an apparent heart attack while asleep at the age of 90.  Rest in Peace, my friend.  I will miss you.

I must say that the news hit me between the eyes, although it was not unexpected.  Frank's health had been deteriorating for the past six months, and along with the onset of Alzheimer's (or whatever it was), it was only going to get worse.  It was tough seeing him losing his toughness, wit,  and memory.  He had become a shell of the man that I knew, and maybe it was better off that he died in his sleep.  It was a peaceful way for a man of his stature to leave this world.  

I wonder what I would have done if I had known about it in time.  Would I have gone to the wake or funeral?  Probably not.  It would have been selfish to insert myself into their life, causing further grief or hardship.  However much I would have wanted to see T, comfort him, and pay my respects to his grandfather, it would have been foolish to show my face there.  I'm glad that the decision was made for me.

As for my wish to send condolences, I debated whether I should send a card or call.  After much deliberation, I  decided that sending a card would be too formal.   I found Anita's Avon card (she sells it), took a deep breath, and called her.   I assure you that the conversation was not comfortable, but she was polite.  Eventually, I did ask how T was doing, and she said that he was "as well as could be expected".  With no other questions left that I was courageous enough to ask, I said goodbye.

I came short of asking where T was, because I didn't want to put her in that position.  Maybe she would not have told me, anyway.   I was tempted to request that she tell him that I missed him, but I didn't do that either.  It would have been stupid of me.  What good would it have done?  I think that he knows that I miss him.  Question is...does he miss me?

I guess that I will never know.

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