Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Birth Date ...

Tomorrow, my friend would have turned 40.

He would have invited me to his birthday lunch in L.A.

And perhaps, for 40, I would have made the trip.

I should have made the trips in years past.

I regret those now. Opportunities missed. Unappreciated.

I have no patience for those who gripe about their birthdays, about turning the calendar to another year.

There will come a day – and we've no way of knowing when – when we will have celebrated our last birthday. There will be no more.

Dave never had the chance to celebrate his 40th birthday. Our lives come with no guarantees. Some stretch on for decades upon decades. Others end before they've even begun.

So he's been on my mind, more than usual lately. And earlier, hesitantly, I typed in the address of his blog.

It's still there, suspended in time.

His final post was a farewell to John Updike, who died, we now know, just a few days before Dave.

I still have those moments, those impulses to call him. He was my partner in procrastination. And these days, more than ever, we'd have so much to discuss.

He would be glum about another letdown season for the Cubs.

He would be incensed about the latest chapter of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

He would be saddened at the state of our country, the protests, the bickering, the threats, and the lies.

And he would be eager to vote on November 2. He would be up early and out of the house. He would cast his ballot and affix his sticker that proclaimed "I Voted!" and then take himself out for a treat.

He would do so many things, if only he were here.

His friend Rhonda wrote to a group of us on Facebook to let us know of her plan to observe his birthday with a random act of kindness.

I love that idea. Join us, won't you? Do something subtle. Or do something grand. Whatever the moment calls for. And then do something else, the next day. And the next. Just because.

And if you happen to find yourself in the proximity of chocolate cake, have a slice with a glass of milk.

Because Dave would want you to have chocolate cake and a glass of milk. For you, not for him. He'd want you to be happy.

Happy birthday to you, my friend. We love you and miss you every day.


Anonymous Alison said...

Happy Birthday to Dave. I'll do something(s) randomly kind in his honor.

12:34 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

:o )

Thanks, Alison.

Though I expect you're the type to do random kind things whenever the opportunities arise.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Beautifully written. I did not know Dave but he's lucky to be remembered by someone who can express it so eloquently.

Someone once said they tried never to say anything that couldn't stand as their last words. Whoever it was admitted it was almost impossible, but as good a goal as any.

Same goes for gestures and trips, I guess. Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Thanks, Dave.

And that is a good goal, indeed, to try to never say anything that couldn't stand as our last words.

The world would be a much kinder place that way.

Carpe diem, indeed.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I still look at the blog frozen in time on occasion. And it strikes me just how many of the last entries regarded death. Even so, I always find myself wishing that there were more entries.

Someday I will see him again.

1:26 PM  

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