Small Wonders: The end of a chapter of life

July 27, 2012|By Patrick Caneday

Words fail sometimes.

I stood in the doorway of my next-door neighbors' house Tuesday morning, saying goodbye to a family of friends as they prepared to move across the country, and suddenly lacked all the important things that should be said in such word-worthy moments.

That's the trouble with people that call themselves writers. They're often better on the page than in person. Ask anyone who knows me.


But, we also get the chance to say on paper what we could not in person.

It started in a doorway, and ends there too. The first time we met, you and your very pregnant bride came a-knockin' not long after we moved in. You brought warm cookies and warmer welcomes to the neighborhood. We thought we'd wandered into an episode of “Leave it to Beaver.” That just doesn't happen in L.A.

Thankfully, you weren't the Cleavers.

We already had two little ones, and over the next few years, we saw you bring two of your own into the world. Two of the most precious, precocious and perfect babes we've ever seen.

How we will miss seeing their smiles as you hold them high to look over the backyard fence so they could see what mayhem my kids were making. I remember when you cut a gate into that fence so we wouldn't have to walk all the way around our houses to get to each others' backyards.

The shortest distance between friends, as it turns out, is a hole in the fence.

How we will miss seeing Z and Pebbles, your boy and girl, charging down the sidewalk screaming with joy, raining delight wherever they journey. Sadly, the next time we see them they won't be who they are right now. Time will take its toll, as it inevitably does. They'll still be full of merriment and whimsy, I am sure. But it will be different.

In Z we already see the makings of a fine man — adventurous, charming, piercingly insightful, confident in a stormy world and ready for any challenge. Like his father.

In Pebbles there is her mother. A gleeful pixie has lost her way and ended up in our world by mistake. Spreading happiness with a smile because she knows no other way. Vibrant, kind, trusting and disarming. This world has no idea how lucky it is to have both these ladies of light.

Sure, we'll keep some mementos to remember you by. Those rugs go quite nicely in our house, and the vacuum cleaner is much appreciated. Thanks also for the flea shampoo, ant killer and baking soda deodorizer. Since you never had a dog, I won't ask what the shampoo was for.

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