The day of walking was short because it rained. Any other day I'd have left earlier and walked farther. This day had me land at Suzy's Tiki Bar, Suzy asked me to stop by for an appetizer at her place by the Indian River in Sebastian. The hour was getting late and the sky was boiling with rain clouds so I asked if I could stay in her lot for the night, she was happy to oblige. A man who was getting his daily exercise on his bicycle had given me his number earlier and when he was giving me a ride to relay my van to Susi's we discovered one thing we had in common was we had lost one of our parents to diabetes and they were the same age of 54. We were about the same age and I could tell the sadness was still just below the surface after many years, as is mine. Loosing anyone is hard and if they could have maybe taken better care of their health the loss is sharper in a way. I tell of my losing my mother and it had been good therapy, but often still the heartbreak is, as I said, just below my eyelids. I am not just "whistling dixie" when I ask folks to take care of them selves for their loved ones sake.
When I returned to Suzy's Paradise, the tiki bar was full inside and it was raining. But, there was an outside window on the far side of the bar sheltered from the weather where there sat a man. So, I sidled up to sit next him at the window. He was not there to celebrate, but to honor the anniversary of his sister who, far too young, he had lost this day to diabetes. Our conversation was personal, but in the end my story took his fresh sadness to hope that diabetes may someday be a memory rather than commonplace in our culture.
The wind and rain pushed me to sit at Suzy's and be inspired by a kindred stranger. Another day I'll cherish because of the rain, not despite it.