It’s starting. That horrific cascade of friends and classmates who have begun their travels to another world not inhabited by me … yet. … and the news is always unbelievable because we are still summer campers, neighborhood pals, grade school chums and high school buddies … only we’re not. Funny how that goes – like time never really stops. We feel the same as we did then – mostly, and when we see a long-lost friend, we wonder why they aged and we haven’t.
As grim as it sounds, it is truth, and truth cannot be hidden from – for long. Soon there will be a torrent until someday, as happened with my parents, their parents, and so on, we will be one of the few left, having said goodbye to former loves, best friends, not-so-best friends, colleagues and everyone in our lives who made an impact.
Annie made such an impact in my life with her fiery red hair, her face amass with friendly freckles, her dedication to all things fun, her kind and gentle heart, and her bugle.
I knew Annie from summer camp. She was the one who woke us in the morning with Reveille and put us to bed at night with Taps. She was the one who gave our days the pulse that wound its way into our young psyches. We could count on her and her bugle which is more than could be said for other areas of our lives – then and now.
Two days ago, a glistening scarlet red drop found its way into the torrent. It was the forever young, red-headed girl for whom Taps played one last time.
Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.