“Real empathy is sometimes not insisting that it will be okay, but acknowledging that it is not.” ~ Sheryl Sandberg

 

starting gate

 

Somewhere in my house are photos of Gary Thurman that probably no one but me has seen. And that’s where they’ll remain until the remodel is over and I can get back in to find them. So, for now, this starting gate at Keeneland will have to stand in their place. For those who don’t know why I’m talking about Gary so much it’s because he walked on this past Saturday. It was sudden and unexpected. I happened to be at my house when I got the call. I proceeded to work up a sweat until I finally said out loud, “Dammit, Gary, we weren’t done yet!” What I meant was that we hadn’t taken all the adventures yet. Mind you, Gary had many, many adventures, they just weren’t all with me aboard. For instance, one of the things I had wanted to do with he, Pam, and Barb was to take them to a Keeneland meet. Didn’t matter which one – spring or fall – I just wanted to spend a day at the races with them. I thought of that this morning as I passed the starting gates in the parking lot (there’s a big festival this weekend and I guess they’ve rolled out the gates for show). I stopped the car and took five minutes out of my day to get a close look at those gates. I reckon me and the girls will just have to order double Burgoo and bet twice as much to make up for Gary missing the fun at Keeneland. Somehow I think he will always be nearby, smiling in satisfied approval. You can read more about him in the perfectly crafted obit. My life is so much richer for having known him.

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