February 14, 2009
You, more than anyone, might find it strange that I write to you on Valentine's Day. You might even be amused, given your belief that this day is nothing special, trumped up by Hallmark to sell cards. Your spare philosophy extended to the ending of life's holiday, considering visions of heaven more romanticized nonsense in spite of your Roman Catholic upbringing.
Yet you did everything your medical training suggested could keep you alive and in good health, paying rigorous attention to what you ate, playing tennis and racquetball, as though your body protested your concept of death and feared you would, as you did, die young.
We'd been divorced more than fifteen years when Dylan called to say you'd had a heart attack. I thought of you by then as an occasional friend or interested party when issues with the children arose. So I was surprised by how much I grieved.
In a hundred years we'll all be grass.If that's what you've become, Dave, I see you as reed grass, tall, lean, somewhat spare. (As for Updike--if granted his likely wish--Cannabis sativa, or "grass" grass.)
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Published in my memoir, Autobiography Passed Through the Sieve of Maya.