ashes to ashes

(Or... how I found my way back to church.)

Last Thursday, on the playground after school, I saw yet another person who did not know about my sudden return to Denver. My friend Dave, grandfather to E & H, who both attend our school, caught my eye from across the yard. I wandered my way over to him and said hi. He, in turn, said hi and that he sure was glad to see me back.

Dave is a disconcertingly tall man, with a sweet mullet and a peculiar love of PBR. He also likes the ladies quite a bit. Not that he's not happily married, 'cause he is, but he is sooo not afraid to check out a nice rack if'ns he crosses one in his travels. He works the door at the Halloween carnival we throw every year, always in full costume, always with a buzz. He is fun. Funny. Kind and sweet. He loves his grandchildren, he loves their school. He is, in short, good good stuff.

So, he welcomed me back with his usual up and down look, a sly wink and a nice hug, and I was on my way.

He died that night of a massive heart attack.

Today was his service. Half of the school showed up for it. The minister talked of love, joy and peace and how Dave exemplified all of those qualities in every aspect of his life. And the dude was right. Dave was a wonderful, beautiful man and he is sadly missed. He was never anything but kind and patient. He always smiled, he could make anyone laugh, he was warm and genuine and a joy to be around. My heart aches for the loss of him in my life, in my sons' school, in our community. I am honored to have known him and to have called him my friend.

And Rollee. Dear Rollee. My friend has this dog, this little dog who thinks she is 15 ft. tall AND bulletproof. Rollee has the kind of white curly hair that absolutely screams out for pink bows and ribbons, but I can't imagine that she ever would have stood for that. You see, Rollee is refined and shit. She is a dog who knows her worth. She never hurries, she doesn't whine or complain, she just takes life as it comes to her with elegance and grace. She is sweet and kind and likes babies (at least those babies who drop food off their highchairs for her). I'm not so big on the dogs, but Rollee rocks quite a bit. Rollee would have loved Duncan The Wonderdog, Molly, had they ever met.

Well, Rollee also had to move on to greener pastures today. She lived a long, full happy sort of life and gave my friend an irreplaceable sort of love and companionship. I will miss her fluffy hair and bad breath. Lily will miss feeding her inappropriate foods. My friend, whose heart is heavy with sadness tonight, I grieve for you and with you. We all loved her and we all will miss her.