Sunday, October 30, 2011
I’m afraid of…
Today, my buddy Ben and I talked about going to a Dude Ranch and learning to ride horses (and yes, I’m late getting this to you again—so by “today,” I really mean “almost a week after the date on the top of the page”). Once upon a time, Rodger was going to teach me to ride a horse. The memory came unbidden. I don’t even know why I remember it. It was a random piece of a conversation by letter before Rodger and I even met. He was going to teach me to ride.
He was going to walk me down the aisle, too, if I ever married.
And he thought I was spitting on him. I wasn’t. I promise. It was the camels. Never trust camels at Disney World. They’ll get you into trouble. (I mean, really—have you met Rodger? Show me one person who would dare to spit on him. Really.)
And that first episode of NCIS that I watched with him and Kristin—the one that Rodger had solved before I even understood what was happening.
He always encouraged me to finish school. I always wanted him to finish school, too. Rodger was one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever known.
I remember going to the Beirut Memorial and listening as he recalled the events of the bombing in Lebanon on his birthday in 1993 and how that shaped him as a person, how that birthed in him a desire to serve in the Marines.
He was so perceptive…if you offered even the slightest hint that you were interested in something (whether it was the history of the Marine Corps, the Beirut Memorial, that NCIS episode that I truthfully didn’t fully understand until about the seventh time watching it, or just those phenomenal [but ancient history] nachos at Applebees), Rodger went out of his way to share it with you—as evidenced by the fact that I’ve been digging into the family history recently, and when I arrived down south for his Memorial, my sister showed me the pages of notes he’d begun working on with names and marriage in his family.
He used to have hair. And when he didn’t have much anymore, he took our teasing graciously.
There are a million little things. And I’m afraid of forgetting. Help me to not forget.
If anyone wants to help me remember by learning to ride a horse…you know where to find me.
All my love,