A dear friend passed away this week and it’s hard to hide from the melancholy thoughts, hard to find the cheer. The clouds have been hanging heavy over the neighborhood and I don’t see them lifting for a while. But I have to say, all my memories of Eve are so pleasant, as comforting as her warm personality.

I picture her and Jabe pedaling their bikes past my front porch on their evening rides down to the Left Hand Brew Pub. Those two rode their bikes over half of America, from Boulder County to Jamestown and Ward to the Texas Hill Country. And they always waved as they rode by.

Not sure why I’m so sad because all my memories are so good. They’d include me in their running gang and I followed them out to Moab four years in a row to run a half marathon along the Colorado River. Drinking beers after one of those runs, I recall Jabe teasing Eve with her storytelling. Not someone I associate with hair salons, Jabe said, “I’m thinking of getting hair extensions.”  With her dry wit, Eve responded, “They don’t come in gray.”

Those two were such a cute couple. The type that when you saw them enjoying each other’s company, you hoped your marriage was as good. It’d put me in the mood to flirt with my wife. It always made me feel so good to see them together.

The melancholy got me thinking about others in my life who have passed, and how I only have the best memories. I have such few memories of my father, he passed so young, six days after his thirty-seventh birthday, September 8, 1967. But the memories I do have are all good. I tended to get into trouble a bit and got my share of spankings. The only spanking I recall though is the one I didn’t get.

I’d been playing out in the street, something they let four-year olds do back in the sixties. I would stand on the curb and wait for a car to get close, then sprint to the other side of the street. Someone told on me, likely one of my five sisters. My dad walked me into my room and told me he was going to have to give me a spanking. As he took off his belt, he asked me why I’d done it. “Son, why were you running in front of those cars? You could have been killed.”

I responded, “Because I thought I could beat them.” He laughed out loud and told me he wasn’t going to spank me, but I’d have to stay in my room until dinner. That story gets better for me every time I recall it. He probably wasn’t gonna use his belt. He might have though. Catholic Fathers invented punishment.

I know Jabe will be telling countless happy stories from her memories of her life with Eve. When you loved someone and they loved you, those are the memories you are left with, countless happy stories.