Last Thursday, Bogie joined Lulu, Marlowe, Pravda and Howard, leaving behind me, Thing One, Mallory, Greta, Francis and Cyd. There's a hole in our lives that will never be filled.
That weekend, Thing One and I headed north for Number One Nephew's wedding (5 weddings down, 13 to go... in that generation anyway) and then headed over to SmallTown to see my parents. While we were there, I saw a man that I've known since July, 1969 when we moved to SmallTown, but haven't seen since sometime during our time together at SmallCollege (where both his and my father taught).
It started me thinking of Thing Three, and the hole he's left in my life, too. "Back when" (aka our college years and beyond) we were close. Late night talks, letters/cards during vacation, hanging out, etc. - you know, all that normal college friends stuff. Lucky for both of us, we headed to NYC after college and continued the fun at movies, Off-Broadway shows, homecooked dinners and other events. Then he left for the far reaches of Pennsylvania, and then met and married someone and, well. there was a hole in my life. There are times I really miss him and our inside jokes, his insights into life and his hugs. Thing Three is an amazing hugger. I truly love the guy.
Here's the important thing: even if, by some twist or quirk of fate, Thing Three came back into my life because we live closer to each other or something like that, the hole wouldn't be filled. Why? Because we're older by a couple of decades, because we've both grown in different ways, and because life moves on. The Thing Three I miss is the Thing Three of my young adulthood - he's still part of my life, but it's not the same. It will never be the same.
If Bogie (or any of the others) came back into my life in an animated, non-ashen state, they'd slip back into the holes they left. Thing Three? It will never be filled.