Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pal

There is a certain time of year that I think about the death of a person who was very dear to me. In fact, I don't think I have yet had someone else die that was so very dear to me as him.

His name is Eugene Fowler but I called him "Pal." When my parents moved into the house that we grew up in they did not know that there would be not only a neighbour, in the best sense of the word, but a dear friend. Pal was in his 70's when my parents moved in and my mom was pregnant with me.

Pal had a garden, fed the birds, and mowed his own lawn. He worked on his car, he was amazing. When my parents brought me home he was the first person to hold me. I fed the birds with him, worked in his garden with him, and ate waffle breakfast with him. I named him "Pal" because he was my pal and I can still see myself sitting on the hood of his classic blue car mindlessly chipping off the paint and him saying "Now Peaches, don't do that." He called socks "stockings" and if he didn't like something I did he was not mad he was "cross."

I visited him most every day coming through the back screen door. I would pile all the pillows in his house on the couch and sit high like a queen in front of the Television. I sat far back because, as Pal told me, sitting as close as I tried would "ruin my eyes." He took the gate off of his fence just so that I and my siblings could come back and forth through his yard freely. I remember when someone new moved into his house and they put up a gate. It was a reminder that Pal indeed was gone.

 I climbed his trees and built forts in his yard. I drank his 7Up and ate all his peppermints (especially the chewy ones). I remember his yellow vintage stove and cobalt blue lamps, his living room always seemed so rich. I hid in his wooden side tables and prank called on his phone. He bandaged my cuts, I still remember the drawer that held the Neosporin and Band-Aids. My Pal. His birthday was this month and I suppose that is why I am thinking of him. He was born in 1905. He was dear to me and my family. I will always love you, Pal.

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