This week he passed away.
I frequently visit mom with my grand dogs. One day when Milo was with me, Win motioned me into his room to show me his dog. His dog was in a picture displayed prominently on his dresser. The picture included young Win (maybe a teenager), clothed in styles that were reminiscent of European styles 80 years ago. Short pants just below the knee, a short jacket, and a cap. And standing on his hind legs with his front paws on Win's shoulders was this absolutely ENORMOUS dog. Huge in height and breadth. Their heads were nose to nose. Win's arms rested on the dog's shoulders. The picture was faded with age, but it was obvious there was great love between the boy and his dog. That love for his buddy was safely tucked away in the heart of this 90+ year old man.
When I received the announcement of his passing and the planned house memorial service, I was instantly faced with the reality that is easy to forget sitting in my living room. The passing of folks with great age is normal, expected even. And just like my own mortality, I seldom face the fact that one day mom will be gone.
It is a reality check. It is a reminder that our time together is limited. As much as I struggled over the last year to hold off the inevitable for my mom, we all reach the same end eventually.
Rest in Peace - dear Win.
I know your buddy is waiting patiently for you on the other side.