Affirmation
Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 2:01PM
Edward B Fogarty

In a moment I saw an old friend, a man in his mid-70’s and it could be early 80’s, one of those seemingly ageless types that will go in a matter of weeks once struck with a relatively minor injury.  He was so happy to see me, as I was him, and we clasped in handshake.   “Happy New Year” we rejoined, marveling in a confirmation of life for another year.  We had seen each other struggle with fitness and age at the gym for years, causing some angst at our fitness at such an age and giving others affirmation that they too could achieve fitness when aged as we two. 

And I recalled an article in the New York Times from several weeks or days ago about a prisoner’s cemetery somewhere in Texas.  There, inmates were put to final rest, some dying from age or disease, many at the hands of an executioner’s needle.  As the article pointed out these were men who had lived lives of disrespect for others, some had died hardened, but most tempered by time and age into different humans than when first incarcerated.  The article said the graves were dug by fellow inmates, who at each burial took a moment of silence and respect for each dead soul lowered into the arid earth.  That moment, I would suppose, is their affirmation of continuity.  How different from mine.  

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