It's been a crappy year. I can't think of any year (even my crappy college years) that was worse.
It wasn't just the sheer helplessness we all felt; waiting for the other shoe to drop; the loneliness of not being able to see loved ones; watching the evening news as the death count kept going higher. I started comparing the death count to the populations of major American cities and tried to imagine everyone in that town dropping dead at once just so that I could come to grips with the magnitude of the losses. I was really getting morbid and it took a lot from Linda to kick my ass out of that mode. I'm still working on it quite honestly.
This past October, Linda and I finally got up the nerve to pick a place where the infection rate wasn't quite so high because we, like the rest of us, just needed to get out of the house. We decided to go to Cleveland and visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We were on the road and just north of Columbus when we got a call from my sister that my 97 year old father had been stricken with a heart attack and that things didn't look good and that we needed to divert to McLean VA. So in October I ended up losing my dad. But that wasn't all.
During the past couple years, we kept losing Reitz classmates. We lost Bill Burgdorf, Roger Cox, Paul Ensinger, Gene Helfert, Myrtle Sutton Hibbs, Austin Sammons, Bob Wolf, Brenda Cosby Gatewood, Bill Shaeffer, Jim Nunn, Jerry Purdue, and we lost Sam Still's wife, Brenda.
2021 (we always do everything together); we were lucky, only getting mild symptoms (mild like getting run over by a hit and run driver and then someone driving a spike into your brain then having an elephant sit on your chest for a few weeks and then having the stamina of a 2 year old for another month or two). I spent an observation day in the hospital but we're above ground looking at the sky and that means everything.
As gruesome as this all was, things are looking up. Evansville is opening up slowly (maybe a little too quickly for my still masked taste). Linda and I are now vaccinated. We're seeing our Great granddaughter regularly. The 100th WSNC Fall Festival is on, as is the Henderson Handy Blues Festival. And Reitz is going to have a graduation this year which, if outdoors, we will be attending to watch our grandson get his diploma.
One thing this year definitely taught us is that time is fleeting and we never know what the Fates have in store for us. I witnessed and tasted mortality this year, and it was bitter. Whatever it is, do it now. Don't wait to say it; say it now.
So folks, I'm back from the edge of the abyss and I hope this finds you and yours in good health and good spirits. Talk to you soon.