Last Friday we went to Walmart to get my glasses frames replaced after they broke. While I was standing in the optical department waiting, I was looking around at the display of frames and my eye caught a display of high tech, high fashion, expensive sports lenses of the type Leif might have gravitated to and I unexpectedly felt tears come to my eyes.
Even recounting this brings tears to my eyes. Why? I was never there in that store with him. This particular store was built after he died. It was just the remembrance of how he favored "cool" glasses, whether regular daily wear ones, sunglasses, or the kind of sport glasses he wore when riding his motorcycle.
From there we drove in to Tampa, and on the way, we were passed by a motorcyclist going like a house afire. Because Leif rode motorcycles and had accidents, I feel protective of cyclists, but I am also horrified at those that ride like he did, like a demon. There was the second reminder.
As we took the expressway exit off I745, Peter W. was remarking that something had suddenly made him feel sad, that he always thought of Leif when we were driving to Tampa and he couldn't believe it had been almost four years since he died, and I said, "If feels like we should just be able to drive to his apartment and see him." Yes, it still does, and it still feels like a knife in the heart when I realize I can't, that he isn't there and he never will be.
We saw some "cool" cars on the way and remarked how much Leif would have liked them.
When we got to the BX (base exchange, a department store for you non-military types), I saw someone that could have been his brother . . . tall, shaved head, goatee and mustache, about thirty-five, and wearing jeans and designer glasses. This man was probably three inches taller than Leif, but even at that, I had to look again to be sure it wasn't him.
We went into the ITT (Information Tours and Travel) office and they were advertising tickets for concerts by Van Halen and Rammstein. Leif would have loved to go to both of those, though they would have been out of his price range with tickets well over $100 each.
At home I read an article about the Mars opposition (positioning of the planet Mars) and an observatory program about it he would have liked.
By now, on Monday, I'm probably forgetting more things that occurred on Friday to remind us of Leif and make us bounce from everyday routine to sadness to reminiscing to sadness to just being busy. There are so many things we associate with him and always will.
The photo above was taken in Germany in the fall of 1977 when Leif was two-and-a-half years old. My little rascal. I miss him so!