The Edge of the Earth

P1000966This morning was another first: we could not see the lake, nor the hills, nor the sky. It was gray. All gray. It looked like the edge of the earth. We’ve had other mornings when the fog obscured one’s sight. In the summer it’s neat to paddle out into the mist and try to get to the center so that all shorelines are unseen. But this fall morning held something special.

Little did I know how special this day would be. It was my Uncle Anthony’s birthday. I had even sent a card to him, this being his first birthday alone since my Aunt Muriel died last March.

Later the sun came out, and the image of the world dropping off disappeared as the lake, horizon, and sky came back in to view. Then the phone rang.

My uncle had passed away – on his 83rd birthday! We had just seen him last summer when he drove up from his home in Boston to check on the work we had contracted on his camp. We went to the Lucerne Inn for a wonderful dinner, full of memories and stories. We talked a lot about his wife – my mother’s sister – who had just died in March after a very long, debilitating illness. He missed her so, grieved daily, and vowed to keep the camp in the condition that she would want.

And now he has joined her in death. It’s as if they have stepped off the edge of the world together, into the gray mist that hides from us what lies beyond. We can no longer see them, or feel their hugs. But they are there, just beyond the edge of the earth.

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