Every morning I walk the dog. Two different dogs, same route, 18 years. Over that time, I've met a few people along the way.
Around the corner from my street is a retired plumber who raised eight kids in a cape cod that was a better fit for a family of four. With the weather being warmer, he's out a bit more and so we often visit before we both move on to the tasks of the day. Last year I found out he has early Alzheimer's. I wouldn't have known that then, but this year when he drew a blank right in the middle of a conversation, he told me that he sometimes has trouble finding the right words. He no longer drives a car and gets around the neighborhood on his bike, which has made him fit everywhere but in his mind.
The other day he was outside puttering with his lawnmower. We talked for a few minutes and then he looked at me and said, "You and me, we've got the luck of the Irish don't we?" Oh yes we do, kind man. I told him I'd let him get back to work, but before I left he said, "Isn't this a beautiful day? This is the day the Lord has made." True on both accounts.
This dog of mine and I walked the last block home, and on that lovely spring morning, the wind was at our back, the sun shone warm upon our face and I said a prayer for the friend who always rises to meet me.