Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sorrow, Joy, Peace

26 March 2011

It's been an emotional two weeks.

Just before we left for a week's visit to Florida (business for Greg, play for me), we learned that our very dear friend Ram Bhat had an incredibly aggressive form of cancer. His long time partner, Marjorie, rushed him to the emergency room after he complained of shortness of breath and stomach pain. The diagnosis was devastating: liver cancer that had already spread to his lungs and bones. Ram died the day before we left for Florida. He was 69.  Although I did not have a chance to say goodbye in person, Katie and Heath were able to visit Ram in the hospital and tell him how much we loved him. 

 Ram was a truly remarkable man: a Renaissance man who could converse knowledgably on seemingly endless topics and a best friend to virtually everyone he met.  Ram was the kind of friend who always asked how you and your family were doing ... and he really listened and cared about your answer. He will be sadly missed but those who knew him understand what a privilege it was to call him friend.

We had just arrived back home - and yes, we do think of Switzerland, rather than Atlantic Beach, as home - when we found out my great aunt Etta had died. She was nintey-six and, like Uncle Lloyd, the last of her siblings.

Katie, Aunt Ett and me summer 2009

The joy comes from Katie and Heath, who waited until we got to Florida to announce that Katie is three months pregnant, due September 28th. Needless to say, we are jubilant. We're going to be grandparents!

As rushed as our visit was, Katie and I were able to squeeze in lunch with two wonderful friends, Pherbia and Burma. We ate lunch on the deck at Pusser's, closely watched by a three foot alligator, who is regularly fed by the patrons. (NOT a good idea for obvious reasons!)

Katie and I also spent a very peaceful, soul rejuvenating day at the beach club.  The water in the pool was just warm enough for me to take a quick dip. Then, while Katie read her book, I walked along the beach, listening to the waves roll into the shore, and realized that what I was feeling was truly peace. A life ends as another begins. Our life in Florida is ending as our new life in Europe begins.

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn

And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die

... A time to dance, a time to mourn

... To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

-the Byrds