Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Mourning Our Losses

There is a beautiful song called "A Boat on the Sea" by Kristen Vigard from the movie, Grace of My Heart with the lyrics "I never knew I was built so strong ... my heart is a boat on the sea ... I never knew I was built for hurricanes ... my heart is a boat on the sea." 

There is a strength you get from getting older that you never had before. It amazes you, tends to harden you, and also greatly saddens you.  It is a strength you develop from loss. You deal with death with emotions, tears, anger and frustration, but you start dealing with it rather matter of factly as well. It kinda sucks but it also comes from a place of strength you gain in being exposed to it more and more. The heartbreaking emotions are still there but you learn to process them better. Time does not heal old wounds. The wounds still hurt, but you get through it, somehow, hopefully stronger.

Forgive me for my rambling style, I may be a bit all over the place. I have found out this evening that one of my best friends from the 90's passed away. 

It has already been a tough Spring. I mourned the 7th anniversary of my beloved mother's passing on April 10th. That date through Mother's Day, this year May 8th, has always been difficult. I made it through as I always have but not without shedding tears. I think about Mom now more with smiles. That month between her passing and Mother's Day is broken by tears, and a sob here and there. I look up to Heaven and miss her, but smile knowing that I am more and more like her in my thinking, ethics, and morals. For that I am proud. 

RIP Randy
The crux behind this blog post is that tonight I found out I lost a dear old friend that I hadn't spoken to in the last 6 months. Randy Price died back in February in a tragic car accident. He was 53. I worked with Randy back in the late 90's at the City Tavern Restaurant in Philly. We were "thick as thieves" as they say, getting into all sorts of mayhem in Center City bars from Old City to Rittenhouse Square after working long shifts at the Tavern. He was so funny, always cracking jokes, genuinely nice and warm. His laughter and energy were infectious. 

Randy had contacted me after the "first" City Tavern reunion with the old crew saying how much he had wanted to go and was gonna try and make the next one. He and I rambled on one evening through phone calls and then texts into the early morning hours, reminiscing about old times, getting caught up. I was lucky enough that we actually expressed how much we meant to each other as old friends. I won't forget that. I just wished I had saved those texts. 

I had invited Randy through email, text, and voicemail, to our second City Tavern Reunion in February 2016. He never responded. I was disappointed but thought I'd connect with him again sooner or later. His accident was less than a week after the reunion. I never got that chance. His brother was going through his personal effects the other evening and found my cell # in a Christmas card I had sent Randy a couple years ago, calling me to let me know of the tragic news. 

Randy was an incredible person. He had sobered up and become a nurse. Our mutual friend Sam remarked that he was proud to call Randy his friend. Yes, Sammy you are so correct. There weren't many like Randy. He needs to be remembered as one of the good ones. 

I mourn for Randy's passing. Somewhat selfishly because I feel like I had just reconnected with him and there was a potential for our friendship to begin again and become stronger. I also mourn because his death was so unexpected, such a waste for someone who absolutely loved now what he was doing with his life. He was also proud that he had reconnected and grown closer with his two brothers.

If you get anything from this post, please say a prayer for someone that you were close to that you've lost and deserves to be remembered. In addition, let those know how much you love them. We need to be reminded how much those mean to us in the event the unthinkable happens. Life changes in an instant. It is so cliche', but so true.  As my friend Paul stated, live each day as if it were your last. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Today I Buried a Rabbit. Happy Spring ... :(

Bloggers NOTE: I posted a picture of a dead rabbit in the middle of the blog post. This blog post is also a bit graphic in terms of dealing with a dead rabbit. There is no blood though, just a recently departed rabbit. You have been forewarned!

Covering the rabbit grave.
On Monday, I had the unhappy pleasure of burying a dead rabbit which I found in my front yard. Yep, that was my evening. I had wanted to work out. I had wanted to do a nice bit of yard work. Nope. I had to dig a grave in the woods behind my house and bury an unlucky bunny.

I had just pulled into my driveway and stepped out of my car. Glancing over between the bushes next to the car was a large rabbit, just lying there. I literally gasped as his size. He almost looked like he was peacefully sleeping on his side. But I knew he was dead. His one visible eye was glazed over and cloudy. He was just such a magnificent example of an eastern cottontail rabbit. Poor guy. Looked like a pretty healthy weight and beautiful coloring.

Bloggers NOTE: YES... I anthropomorphized the rabbit into a dude rabbit. Get over it, move on.

There was no blood, it looked as if the poor guy's neck was broken.  I was thinking a stray cat might have done him in, we have a number in the area. Some friends said he was too big to be taken down by a stray and that maybe a coyote or fox got him.

Sir Rabbit 
I know people have mentioned of a couple coyote dens up at Mintz's farm nearby.  I can say it most likely wasn't a coyote because they are known for only killing enough to feed themselves and their pups. Now foxes on the other hand, they do kill for sport. Ever hear about the saying "the fox in the hen house?"  Chicken coops are surrounded by chicken coop wire for a reason, to keep out the foxes.  If allowed into a chicken coop, a fox will kill every last chicken indiscriminately for sport. And again, there were no signs of trauma on the rabbit except for the neck area.

Other people mentioned owls or hawks. Charlotte my neighbor mentioned an American eagle. We have a pair seen quite often on Lake Wynonah. I would think if it were a hawk or eagle, there would've been rabbit hair about or why didn't the bird take the rabbit? He might escaped and then crawled between the bushes for safely, only to succumb to his wounds. I'll never know for sure but my money is on the fox.

Friends asked me if it was a male or female rabbit. They were concerned about a possible nest of bunnies. I didn't check the underside to look for the sex and as I said earlier, I made him a guy rabbit. I picked him up with the shovel and made my way back into the woods. His limbs were starting to stiffen but his body hadn't yet begun to show signs of rigor mortis. It must've happened then on Sunday night.

I wanted to go far back into the woods so that if the grave did start to smell through the earth, it wouldn't waft up to the house. I trudged about 300 feet back into the scrubby woods, laid the recently departed rabbit down on the ground and began digging. Our soil in Schuylkill County totally sucks  and is rocky with field stones and shale. It took me a bit to dig a hole 2 feet x 1 foot x 2 feet deep. I guess I got my workout in after all!

I laid the rabbit down with the shovel into his final resting place and stared at him for a moment, saying a small prayer for God's creatures. Such is the way of the world. You know the deal. Nature is cruel, circle of life, rest in peace, all that stuff. Sad but it just happens.

After covering up the shallow grave, I covered it with some field stones and branches to prevent raccoons, coyotes, or the occasional dog from digging it up. Don't need a mess on my hands. It's bad enough I have to do the burial. I didn't feel like reburying a carcass.

As I came back into my yard, I spied another full-size rabbit race across the road into the neighbor's yard. Well at least there are more, I thought. There will always be more rabbits, I  then chuckled. I did look for a rabbit's nest in the yard just on the off chance it was a girl rabbit but couldn't find one. I don't need a nest of hungry baby bunnies looming on my conscious after assuming it was a dude rabbit.