Dad could spin on the tip of a hockey skate, which I'm pretty sure is a skill most men don't share. Since we lived in a valley, and all water runs downhill, we had a lot of frozen water in winter. Ponds were usually better for skating, but we skated the river too when the winters became extreme enough to freeze the running water. That didn't happen every year, and some years we thought it was frozen enough, and it wasn't.
One year, I tested the ice and it failed. I stomped home while fighting hypothermia, and Dad busted a gut laughing at my cold, wet, miserable self. When he was done laughing, he built a fire and threw me a blanket. I was toasty warm when Sis2 came in bedraggled, wet, and miserable. I was warm enough by then to join Dad's laughter. We might've even been consoled with hot cocoa, which was a real treat in our painfully sugar-free home.
I'm trying to cheer myself with warm memories because the nearer memories are rather painful. There was another funeral this week, of someone too young to go.
Danny Flannery died just short of his 29th birthday. He was one of the nicest guys you could hope to meet, which I suppose proves the good die young. He was smart, funny, gentle, sensitive, and kind. He was also a giant. I don't really know how tall he was, but big enough to make me feel downright petite when I gave him a hug.
He worked in my office which was filled with mostly ladies older than myself who had known him since he was a kid in school. The Dan memories that really touch my heart are quiet, sharing moments that happened between just the 2 of us, but I smile at drinking and laughing with him too. But I'm sad. Really sad. Can you tell? He had a long, painful last few years, and I'm sad about that too. I wish he'd had a long life with a loving wife and children and grandchildren.
I felt like a coward, but I didn't go to the funeral. Besides, I knew the place would be packed. Nice guys have a lot of friends and loved ones, and they didn't disappoint. I hear the parking was impossible. Good for Danny. I'm glad he was loved by so many people. Maybe a packed funeral is the best sign of a life well lived?
I swear he's been talking to me in my dreams, but I don't know what he's saying. I can hear his voice, but not the words. It's like he's behind the tattered curtain in the Department of Mysteries -- which once again shows that Harry Potter addresses all the important stuff.
I feel like I should write something uplifting, but all I can think is that I hope Dad takes Danny skating in the afterlife.