Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Because we can

Uncle Jimmy's black Lincoln Continental was parked on the wrong side of Powder House Boulevard in Somerville but since I was sitting in the back seat on the drivers side, it gave me a great view of the triangle-shaped field at the end of the Tufts University property where the woman in gray sweats and a rain jacket was throwing a tennis ball for her Doberman using one of those "Chuck It" ball launcher thingies. She could throw the ball a great distance with that thing and the dog never seemed to tire of chasing it--sometimes he would snag the ball out of the air on the bounce and other times he would totally miss and go sliding on his face before recovering to pick the ball up from wherever it had stopped rolling. He didn't seem to mind either way. And most of the time he didn't run straight back and drop the ball at the woman's feet but instead took the long route, circling the field and running along the fence at what looked like full speed, just because he could.

By the wrong side I mean that the car was parked on the left, facing the oncoming traffic that was turning off of the rotary at Powder House Square. It was okay though--the Doherty Funeral Home guys had parked us that way to make it easier to fall into line when Auntie Marge's funeral procession got rolling on its way through Somerville and Arlington. I rode with Uncle Jimmy, Aunt Fran and my mom, listening to the Graceland Channel on Sirius Satellite Radio.

It was a long day--a long, sad, beautiful, hopeful, memorable, reassuring, nostalgic, emotional day. Later, just before dark, I went for a run. I thought about that dog on Tufts field. I thought about Auntie Marge. I didn't think about my creaky hip or my balky IT Band. The run was good enough. Sometimes because we can is good enough.

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