Monday, March 13, 2006

Last page

On a beautiful September morning, I walked next door for a soda. When I got there, the radio was turned up, and they were talking about a plane that had hit the World Trade Center. As the morning unfolded, I remember just wanting to go home. All of the radios were now on and loud. No body knew what the hell to think, except Bob. He let the noise, and concern go on for an hour, then gathered us together, and said. "Even if it's the end of the world, we're gonna do our jobs. Folks are starting to panic, and they need to see you going about your day!" And so we did. When the customers were not in sight, Bob would come along and reassure us, this will be answered! It was about a month later that I needed the morning off for a doctors appointment. I went to Bob and told him. He then told me that he was taking the afternoon off to get ready for a doctors appointment in the morning. He then told me that he would see me when I got in, as he would be in before me. Later that afternoon, I noticed a commotion by the office, heard Mike (Bobs son) yell out that he would call us, and then burnt rubber getting gone! I went up to see what was the matter. It seems Bob had paged his wife, with the walkie talkie on his phone, and when she tried to page him back, there was no answer. I don't know the time line, but I believe someone was with him in a moment. His heart had stopped, and the paramedics couldn't get it going again. I didn't know he had an irregular heartbeat, that was treated with medicine. The meds he took for his procedure in the morning, reacted with his heart meds and killed him. I felt like I had been beaten. The next day, while at home waiting for the family to make the arrangements, I stepped out onto our front steps, and wept. My wife came out to comfort me, and stood with her arms around me, just looking out at the beautiful day. I then heard her say, oh my god! Look! I looked up in time to see a huge Bald Eagle pop over the trees and down to the yard, flew by and then popped over the trees at the other end, and was gone. In my mind I heard Bob remind me. "God is in his heaven." The funeral was at the church he helped build, and the procession was led by a small fleet of the prettiest Tow Trucks in town. All the chrome polished and every light flashing, drivers in their Sunday best! It was fitting, for a man that spent his life in the business, trying to improve its image. The graveside ceremony was marked by the release of a Hawk he had delivered to the Docs, some weeks before. I will never see a bird of prey, without thinking of you, my friend. God rest, and God speed.

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