This past week began with the shocking and sad news that Yogi Bear Rogers has cancer and won’t be with us too much longer. How long, we don’t exactly know because he’s such a big lovable brute. And I’m sure he will stand strong.
In light of that news, I’ve dug up a vignette I wrote on November 10, 2010 titled, “The Mighty Shake,” (link to original post):
When he stands, it is as a mighty lion stands – a deliberate struggle of a beast battered by carnivorous dreams. Restless and cold, he shifts through the monochrome darkness of night. With each step his paw lands with the thrust of an uncalibrated pile driver trying to beat down the house in which he lives. His good master does not wake; not so for the neighbor girl tumbling beyond the pale green drywall.
He reaches his mirage and begins his inarticulate laps from the cool stainless steel bowl. Water splashes on the wall and the floor and his crusty black nose. When the struggle is over, strands of sinewy slobber drape his mug. The “mighty shake” is coming. The walls recoil in terror. The picture frames fall flat. The clean – the spotless – the untouched – they all post their guard – ready and waiting. His great brute box head turns violently and sets in motion a furious chain reaction of jowl to drool to mid-air acrobats of gelatin-like mouth droppings seeking out the clean – the spotless – the untouched.
The work week ended on a higher note with a fun dinner with the Jeffries at the TCGCC, where we caught up and hopefully didn’t talk about baby boy Rogers too much. But, really, what is more exciting than him these days. He’s hiccuping and moving all the time, and it simply floors me to see and feel his new life. Just to know that – to anticipate him entering this world is amazing. I cannot wait to not sleep, and to be disrupted from whatever routines we have now. Life will change, and there’ll be no looking back.
I watched an interview of David Letterman by Charlie Rose this morning and Letterman had the following to say about fatherhood:
As difficult as being a father is, it’s entirely complimentary with everything else in your life. You get your prescription updated. You see things you never saw before.
Last night we had dinner at OM with Dan and Peg, and then saw, “Over the River and Through the Woods,” at the Old Town Playhouse. It was a story of successful young man who had lived in one place his entire life, and had received a promotion at work that would take him from the East Coast to the West Coast – and away from his four grandparents, with whom he had dinner each Sunday. The story was light-hearted at first, but then began to peel away and reveal the more thought-provoking issues faced by the young man and his grandparents. Issues for the young man such as leaving to find his way, to prove himself, to live his own life. And issues for the grandparents, such as recognizing his need to do that.
I found the play very relatable, real, and honest. I would hope that most people in the audience could find something in the lines delivered that resonated with them. There was a scene at the end that brought me to tears – that of a grandfather being selfless, of accepting that his grandson needed to set out on his own, and that although that took him away from the family he knew, such a journey was necessary to make a family of his own. The grandson would not forget his family.
When all is said and done, what more can any of us ask for but to have made an impression on those we love, so that they remember us and miss us when we are gone. At least for a little while.
With that I am going to close the door on an emotional and busy week, and look ahead to the rest of January. Winter has returned, and a fine snow is falling on the Double Dogleg as I sit and write in front of the sliding door. Yogi is outside, running from Mount Yogi to the fence, watching the activity of his own wonderful little world.
Have a wonderful week.