Here I am looking across the street at Bob's house. It is late in the afternoon and the Wood Storks have begun arriving for their afternoon snacks of white bread.
These homely sentinels don't seem to understand why Bob is late. They have been coming here for years; this house is on their pathway of natural food resources.
The Storks are waiting for Bob in the same way we waited for him every day; full of faith he would come and the expectation he would deliver something special. However, those deliveries ceased on September 22 after Bob's last fall in his driveway; Bob had almost completed his first walk of the morning.
We were fortunate to be Bob's friends and his first stop of the day. He arrived at the front door punctually at 8 AM, pushing his walker across the street, carrying the day-old newspaper he shared with us.
Often times we would meet to exchange pleasantries and hugs. Bob was a WWII Seabee and proud to be ninty-one years old and able to walk the neighborhood three times a day. But more than that, Bob was a full-hearted optimist who graciously spread his cheerful moods
"Have a great day," I would say as he walked away. "You have a better one," he called in return.
I started emulating Bob's cheerful retort some time ago. Whenever someone wishes me a good day,
I respond ala Bob: "and you have a better one."
These greetings sometimes escalate into "Great, Wonderful" and even "Magnificent days." And all the greetings feel good.
Now when I look across the street at the empty house of Bob
I feel a tug in my chest
and a lightness in my head
because I miss that old man so much.
He was such a GOOD man in a world that needs more Bobs.
Wouldn't you know the Wood Storks are finally moving on,
after their lengthy, fruitless waiting for Bob.
Who is that at the front door?
Yes, now these primitive creatures beckon to me
in the same way they must have beckoned to Bob:
"How about a small snack to see us until our next fish dinner?"
I understand that white bread is fattening, but who can resist such noble creatures?