Friday, February 21, 2014

Today's MOZEN 2/21/2014

Words and photo by F LoBuono

It's been two weeks. Today, in fact. Two weeks ago, today, at about 5:15 PM, I lost my best friend. Those of you who read this blog know exactly whom I'm talking about - Big Red. My constant companion for nearly 20 years had to move on. I'll not repeat how are friendship came about. It's a story virtually all of you are familiar with. Besides, I don't want to dwell on the past. Today, I prefer to speak about the present.

Losing Red was incredibly painful. He fought bravely but struggled mightily in the last few weeks of his life. As a team, we had made a pact to run the race together until the day it became impossible to go any further. And, we did. I take comfort and solace in knowing that we did, indeed! We left no stone unturned, no option unexplored. Still, the end of life is inevitable for all things - even Big Red. So, he crossed the bridge. I could not follow. This is one journey that, ultimately, we must make alone. And, I think of him everyday. In fact, I do more than think of him, I feel him. I sense him. I'm still at the stage where, when I come home and open my apartment door, I expect him to greet me, as he always did, even in his darkest hour. But, now, that is just a fleeting memory. Often it hurts. But, it does not always. In fact, it's softening. As is the case, time heals all. And the pain is being replaced with  a softer edged feeling -one of peace and contentment in knowing that, although his physical presence may be gone, his influence never will be. I think everyone eventually feels that with the loss of of a loved one. However, it is usually an intensely private feeling that is ultimately internalized. WE feel it. Others may understand it and empathize, but we are the ones to actually experience it. Rarely is this feeling expressed in a "physical" way that makes me believe that the concepts of love, loss, and eternity are, indeed, universal principals. Generally, these themes are simply understood. Still, once in awhile an entity comes along who reinforces them. Their lives have made such an impact, that their influence resonates even after their physical passing. 

Now, normally, we would associate such feelings with the loss of another human. After all, WE are the ones with souls. Right? Well, hold on a minute. I've always felt that those principals were, indeed, UNIVERSAL. Therefore, they apply to all living creatures. If we open our hearts and minds to them, they would return our kindness with unquestioned love and loyalty. Those of us who have had the privilege of sharing our lives with an animal (ANY animal)  have all experienced this. We share this bond. 

Well, once in a while a creature comes along that exerts an influence far beyond his size and so-called significance. Apparently, this was the case with Big Red. In allowing me to share his life and, in turn, share it with you, he reinforced the ideals of giving through unconditional love. And it can be infectious. This message came to me from a  friend from my old home town, Fort Lee, NJ. Kevin Schorndorf and I have been, on occasion, at political odds. However, we have always had mutual respect for one another's opinions and person - as it should be. I had not heard from him via our usual means of communication, Facebook, in some time. Then I received this:
  • Damn you LoBuono. I was a perfectly content, cat hating person until you and Big Red showed up. I'm talking 50+ years of a true disdain for those sneaky felines. Today, I interview someone who was looking to rent a house I own. I don't allow pets. Yes, I have them but don't trust other people to watch after their pets like I do. I have occasionally allowed a dog but definitely, NO CATS. It states it in the ad. So the balls on this woman to get my hopes up about her possible tenancy. She was perfect. Single mother of one child, very neat, a professional with a new car and a great job. References a mile long. Then it happens. By the way, I have a cat, she says. My heart sank as I informed her of my longstanding policy. She tried telling me about how cool this 10 year old cat was. How it just showed up in her kitchen 8 years ago and has been with her since. As the word NOOOOO was forming in my mouth, my memory snapped like a dried out twig and I remembered how you acquired Big Red. So, I can't believe I did this but I am allowing this woman to rent my home. One reason only my friend. In Big Red's honor. Damn you LoBuono!!! (Have to admit I felt pretty good about it though- haha)
I was going to rant on in my usual verbose fashion, but I think not. Not this time. Kevin's message pretty much says it all, doesn't it? This is Big Red paying it forward. And the lesson is this: it doesn't matter where it comes from, as long as it comes!! Look for it - even in the smallest things. The WAY has been shown in may DIFFERENT ways and in many various forms - even a stupid, little Red Cat!! And he is here, now, always.

Thank you, Kevin. You have validated everything I ever hoped and dreamed for - you AND Big Red!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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