One thing about so much alone time is the tendency to dig up bones....you remember the Randy Travis song- "exhuming things that's better left alone, I'm resurrecting memories of a love that's dead and gone".. I did some digging of my own and found out that someone I once loved very much had passed away in December 2012 at the age of 63 to Alzheimers. Even though I had not seen or spoken to him for almost thirty years, the impact he had on my life cannot be denied and reading his obituary sent me into a place I haven't been for many years and I felt that "old familiar pain". He taught me so many things, both good and painful. I was 22 and very impressionable and I thought he was the most worldly man I had ever met. In my innocence, I believed if someone said they loved you they did. All I knew for sure was I loved him and I made a huge sacrifice for the short lived love affair. It crumbled like so many dry leaves in my hand and blew away on New Years Eve 1980, leaving me alone, ashamed and devastated. But out of the ashes of this relationship I began a path for my life I would have never traveled with the National Park Service had I not met him. I now have lifelong friendships and many wonderful memories due to our chance encounter on a snowy day in March. It saddens me to think that a disease that steals your memories, may have taken all of his.
This is for you my old friend.... You forever changed my life.