As the story goes, Dad was out in the woods with some friends, including Ivan and Doug. Ivan was swinging out over the ravine on some vines, as they were all wont to do on a weekend hike in the woods. Doug, laconic as hell, said quietly, “Vine’s gonna break.”
The vine broke.
Ivan fell into the ravine.
Doug nodded. “Yup. Vine broke.”
Doug passed away on May 10th.
He was one of my many virtual uncles. He grew up with my Dad and went to high school with him, I used to play at his parents’ place (they had the Star Wars trash compactor set). Whenever I went to Cleveland, I’d ping Doug and ask if he wanted to go for a hike in the woods on Sunday, like we always did. Because that’s what we did in Cleveland.
Doug was quiet, self contained, damaged, and not all of his head came back. But he was family.
Sometimes I wonder if all I have left in Cleveland is pain and death and loss.