When we are called to part . . !

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FIVE friends! Two, I left at airport gate and watched as they walked to meet their plane, stopping once to give a final wave.

Three left with no wave, they could not move their hands, as two went into crematorium fire and one, lowered to earth below. When we are called to part, it gives us immense pain, doesn’t it?

Some of my loneliest drives have been either from the graveyard or airport. Once after leaving the airport, on the ramp which joins the main road below, I saw a little car in front of me being driven straight onto the divider. I rushed over and found an elderly man sobbing over his steering wheel.

I knew he wasn’t crying about the accident. I waited awhile, and it being a light vehicle, managed to tug it off the divider.

He could hardly thank me, but somehow in his tear stained eyes as he looked at me, he knew he was not alone.

I remember peering into the flames and watching a close friend’s body all alit as the fire sprang to engulf him, “Quite a bonfire huh?” I heard him say next to me.

“Hey,” I shouted, “What are you doing next to me?” And then I realized that what I had heard was exactly what he would have said, if he’d been alive, and suddenly I smiled.

No, there’s no parting! Airport doors close, the train leaves the station, but they all leave behind themselves.
Every event, every episode, every joke, leaves an imprint that’s nearly five dimensional.

Yes, you can nearly taste the last ice-cream you had together or the beer you sipped, the smell of a cigarette, the feel of their handshakes, observe the stubble or their attempt to hide a bald patch, or their chuckles, laughter or words as they said, “Come on Bob, stop writing, let’s party!” Five friends! Two, I left at airport gate and watched as they walked down to meet their plane, stopping once to give me a final wave.

Three left with no wave, they could not move their hands, as two went into crematorium fire and one lowered down to the earth below.

When we are called to part, it gives us immense pain, doesn’t it? No, it doesn’t. It’s still bearable, because they left some of themselves with us, and as the train they’re on begins its final journey, you run after it shouting, “Stop! There’s something here of yours!” And one by one, in turn, they peer out and whisper, “It’s for you, keep it! It’s me!” And we do, and laugh and smile and cry sometimes, because what loved ones leave behind for us, are huge chunks of themselves..!

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