Lately I have been giving much more thought to what it is I miss about the good old days in Bandera. As I point out things to myself I then ask me what I would be willing to give up to have that particular thing back. If it has to be something of equal value I have a feeling that my current life would be destroyed.
Having the freedom to roam the Medina River from the dam all the way up to the old Longhorn Steakhouse would be something difficult to place a value on. As a kid back in the day it was what I did almost every day with my brothers and sisters or my friends but often alone. It afforded me shelter from personal hard times as well as the troubles taking place around the world. Simple things like a cane pole or an inner tube worked magic to make memories that have lasted a lifetime. The love I have now in my family is something that creates as many happy memories for me in comparison but could never be given up in trade.
Recently I experienced the devastating loss of my wife. A part of my life that started about sixty years ago when we first became friends has ended. We had a marriage that survived ups and downs over a span of fifty-six plus years. In recent years as great grandbabies came along the bond had become so strong that it was indestructible.
I had lost my desire to fish every day over the last 10 years or so and when I had to leave the house all I wanted to do was get back there to be with her. Garage sales, yard work, short shopping trips and porch sitting with our dogs became our daily routines. I still do these things but it is simply a way to keep going and there is less satisfaction in it now.
I had worked hard in recent years trying to prepare her both mentally and financially for life without me. It seemed to be the most logical ending since she was always the family doctor and advice giver when it came to the well being of the kids, grandkids, great-grandkids and me. I struggle to understand why God chose this path for me as I am now forced to accept it and pray that I am worthy of being reunited with her in eternity.
Moving forward, Growing Up In Bandera will be bittersweet for me. All the places and things that once triggered nothing but great memories for me will now be tainted with a painful reminder of losing the love of my life.