Every morning in between chores, pet care, before I write, before I train—I read. I read standing up usually. Sometimes I get lost in reading an article and our pets will remind me as I’ll hear them racing around the living room and dining room. They’re waiting for the hay box I hold in my hand whilst I read an article on either nature, A.I., stocks, crime, medicine and politics. I’ll read at least three full articles within the first hour I’m awake. Then others I peruse quickly and tag articles for later if I think its something of quality to read.
Since I read from a variety of sources, I’ll jump around from one article to another source and perhaps another to see a different view—even if its not a source I feel is much on point. In doing this, I’ll have a broader view and with that my news feed will change and I’ll pick up on the new news of the day that might bring me back in time. Sometimes to only a handful of years ago. I’ll see the headline roll through, “All Harmon Stores to Close Amid Bed, Bath and Beyond…”. This I knew, yet was surprised it hadn’t occurred sooner—like about eighteen months ago or so. But no big deal. Why? Everything changes. It advances into something new. Perhaps, something better never expected before.
Then I’m out for a run and see one of our family’s favorite eateries we’d go out to few times a year. It was shuttered. A franchised eatery that we’d known some people that worked there. I could hear my husband now only in my mind say, ‘Oh Wow. Guess we’re going to have to find another family favorite.’ My thoughts had come back to present, ‘Maybe they’re just temporarily closed because of Covid.’
Sometime in early 2021 before seeing the family favorite eatery shuttered. I was running in my town. I was having a rough morning. In lieu of feeling the somewhat cloudy damp winter air drag me—telling me I really didn’t want to run. I pursued and ran a newly made up course to shake off the negativity. Not caring where I ran, but just that I’d put in the miles for at least an hour or so.
As I strode down a road that I hadn’t ran on that section in quite some time. There she was—my now deceased husband’s favorite shop. It had just burned down. Fire inspectors stood around looking at the tall structure which held someone’s home and another shop too. It was all gone. As I ran by I thought, ‘This would devastate him.’ I could hear him, ‘Oh no. Oh no. I hope the guy is okay. Oh man…’ Then he’d research and make certain that people were okay. I guess its kind of what we all do when such tragedy strikes. We do care about the loss, but more so about human life. Even strangers we do care about them—or we should. There are altruistic and selfish reasons for that.
Two weeks ago as I went through my newsfeed as I do few times a day in between writing, editing, chores, training and so forth I saw another family favorite and favorite store of my husband’s was closing—Barnes & Noble on Route 17 in Paramus. The humungous book store we all went to after having dinner at our favorite eatery. Or Norm and I would go to on date night, after going out to eat together before relieving the babysitter. Quite often, we used that store for a family fun night to break up the monotony of life after a family hike. Or buy our children gift cards to the store—as they’re big readers. Yes that too will be gone by this time next week.
So in all this I wondered as I read the news this morning how Norm would be approaching all this change. By the way, Norm hated change. Me, give me a futon I’m moving to some far away place where I know no one. And I’ll figure it out. Norm and I were two opposites. I have some sentimental thoughts, yes. But I’m the one who looks back for others and wonder how they would’ve faired—while I just rolled along looking for newness. Because I know, everything changes.---Jody-Lynn Reicher