Today I saw the first Robin of the year. I wish you could have been there. We always enjoyed talking about the excitement of spring and the wonderful feelings of the world coming to life again. The day after you died I saw the first geese coming back. It was so painful to see them return so shortly after you passed because you always got such a thrill seeing them return once again and looking forward to the wonderful season to come. Every year it was our communal right of passage to see and hear the geese echo in new year and we warmly talked about the future and the past; the fun times we had had and the enjoyable time we were looking forward to. I must admit that when I saw the first robin of the year today I could help but weep a little bit for the void you have left in our lives. But the weeping is always made a little more difficult in the realization that you would hate to see us feeling sad. You so often quoted to me the Christina Rossetti poem entitled 'Remember' the last two lines of which are 'Better by far you should forget and smile/ than that you should remember and be sad.' But is hard to live by this simple wisdom. I want to remember even if it means terrible sadness. You were so much my friend, my ally, my compatriot in art and philosophy. Already I miss our simple companionship so much. I want to remember, let the sadness fall where it will.
Over the next few weeks I will see a great many Robins as they begin to repopulate their summer grounds. And with each one I will smile and weep anew. I will see sunsets that you loved so well and I will smile and weep anew. I will hear your granddaughter laugh and I will smile and weep anew. I will feel the chilly spring breeze which will no more embrace your skin and I will smile and weep anew. I will see injustices against which you so passionately railed, and I will smile and weep anew. I will see an old picture show which you loved to enjoy and I will smile and weep anew.
I cannot forget, so I guess I will have to remember and be sad, at least for now.
I miss you Roy.