In my transition from a Catholic… to an Atheist… to someone who based on Buddhist teaching is really trying to understand all religions…I find all situations surrounding my life seem to be faced by trial and error. I hope what I am saying today is the appropriate response to your situation.

Recently I posted “I don’t pray“and I promised that if I had a friend who truly needed my prayer, I would not deny that friend. With that in mind, I pray for a peaceful end to suffering.

These are not just words, “Bill” was like second father to me. My earliest memories was of hanging out with a friend, and on weekends, my friend would be taken away to Northport, NY to spend time with his Dad. When we got older, occasionally I got to go with my friend as he spent time with his Dad. I can remember on one trip, his Grandfather was pretty impressed that my brother was going to a seminary and asked me if I would follow in his path. Ironic it is..where I am now. I remember his Dad’s pool, I remember my friend and I going into the woods, I remember visiting his Dad’s sister(?) “Anges”. In the woods, on a dirt bike trail, we set “Green Beret” traps and…well… we got in trouble for it 🙂

“Bill” moved to NYC and my biggest memory was Rassling with him in his new place. Due to our Wrestling, we dented his living room wall. That night he took us to the movies where… at the time you could smoke in the theater. Those who smoked were smoking some strange shit… and we left the movies a little giggly.  “Bill” took us to a place called “Elaines” which was a popular “star” spot. My friend and I were dressed as “Guidos”, I wore my high top sneakers, White Bugle Boy pants with a puffy dress shirt, we were dressed in style and the girls digged it 🙂  I have to give my friend a great deal of credit from converting me from “Bruce Springsteen” to an Italian Guido, lol. I still alternate between the two! I could go on about my trips to NY, Paramount buying out Gulf and Western, trips to Central Park that took us past many of the studios. Visits to Tower Records and Tower Video. There is so many enjoyable memories I have of my friend(s) and his Dad.

My friends are hoping that his final days are comfortable and in peace, they match my sentiments, exactly. but this is where I struggle with the appropriateness of my comments. I am no longer Christian.

“Bill” is still here and I have so many loving memories of him. Those memories will never change. I will likely wake up tomorrow morning, open the back door, take a deep breath and those memories will be there, my glowing review of a man who is currently suffering. I will hope his suffering is limited. I will hope he is thinking of his kids and his kids kids, being proud of the seeds he has sown.

Twenty years from now, I expect I will be in the middle of a walk in the woods and something will remind me of “Bill”. At the same moment, his grand kids, who may have kids of their own at the time, will be telling their own about Great Grandpa. “Bill” will live on as long as his memory lives on.

I love you Bill!