May 11th, 2004

Back on the Chain Gang

I said I'd be back, and here I am. First thing to do is to undo everything the boss did while I was gone. Second thing is to let my co-workers know that my father died, because the PHB* only told them he was in hospice. He knew about Daddy's death, because I called him immediately to let him know I'd be out for another week. He responded by having me walk him through how to add a row to a table in HTML.

There are just no words.
But then, the most amazing thing happened as a result of running my father's obituary in the Herald. When I was five and six, the family next door had a girl my age. Her name was Linda and we were inseparable. We rode our stick horses through the neighborhood, visiting. We climbed the rose apple tree. We were each others first, best friends. Then her family moved and we never saw each other again. Until yesterday. She lives here in Miami and saw the obituary, and saw that I lived here, and called me. She left a message, explaining who she was. As if she needed to say anything other than her name.

After 45 years, our conversation picked up exactly where it left off, albeit with better vocabulary and a somewhat broader life experience.

It turns out we have lived parallel lives, living in the same cities, only a year or two apart, the same neighborhoods, chosen the same careers.

My father is already putting things in order, it would seem.

* Pointy-haired-boss