Mark Benjamin commented on a post on Blogger.
GOODMORNING

Arnold was my neighbour. A gentle, old soul who reminded me of my deceased grandfather. Arnold had seen it all; wars, presidential assassinations, economic meltdowns, rise and fall of nations, technology advancements. But his outlook on life remained the same...compassionate.

He was a doting old man who always had sweets and freshly made orange juice together with home-baked cookies to give all and sundry. His neighbours (like myself despite the fact I lived in the opposite building), delivery men, children playing down the street. Always with a sweet smile and a happy countenance with a laugh so jolly and infectious it melted the people he met with adoration, I could serve his life with one simple term: love.

We had a game every morning at 7am sharp. I would draw my pink curtains overlooking my potted plants with a direct view to his window and he would wave his wiry hand at me, give me thumbs up, and yell with his affectionate laugh, "Jolly good morning to ya, Haya."

"Top of the morning to ya, Arnie," would be my response.

But this morning, at 7am sharp, there was no Arnie opening his curtains and yelling out his salutations.

Half an hour went by. Nothing.

An hour. Nothing.

Two hours later, the fear and sadness that had been growing, expanding its way from belly and rising upwards to gnaw on my chest, constricting it; climbing higher to squeeze my throat; and finally, piercing my eyes and squeezing my tears out.

I sobbed. Not only had I lost a genuinely good man, an honest and lovely human being, but the world was the poorer for it. For Arnold was a man of routine. And if he did not make it so wish me a good morning, then he was no longer in this physical plane.

Rubbing my eyes, I remembered his words to me months back. "When I pass, and I surely must, do not mourn and grieve. Live your life with the knowledge that I am with my wife and my children. But until then, Haya, I shall be saying my good morning greetings."
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