Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.
Antoine de Saint -Exupery
We had a neighbor, Mr. Gary, who through a series of illnesses, became home bound at the age of 59. Over the course of a few months, we went from having a glass of wine and a cigar on his patio to wondering if he would come home from the hospital this time. He came home several times, he also technically died a few times too. He met me as a newlywed, he said goodbye to me as a mother of two small children, in his living room, on Halloween, his favorite holiday.Once, he had an hosta delivered to my door with a note from his dog Bill, asking for forgiveness for peeing on and killing the one by our shared fence. Shortly after our last visit, Mr. Gary's organs began to fail. He held out until January.
Mr. Gary was kind and funny. He had gone to seminary to be a priest but when he was sent to work in the "outside world" he decided to stay in it. He taught English and religion to immigrants on the Texas border. He eventually went into banking and became very wealthy. He never married. In his eulogy, which he wrote himself, among many beautiful and wise things, he said his only regret was never having a child and his favorite book was The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint- Exupery. Sometimes, I look at my children and wonder over their imaginations. I also hear Mr. Gary laughing in delight. I miss you, dear friend.