An old dog learning new tricks

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” So the adage goes. 

Well, this old mutt is learning new tricks nearly every day.

The last few years have been quite tumultuous for me, particularly the last year.

Late last July one of my best friends and my golf partner, Msgr. Tom Harrington passed away. Less than three months later, my greatest hero, my dad Larry was called home to the Father.

It’s been an adjustment on both fronts.

My dad died at the Catholic Memorial Home, which is a stone’s throw from my home, and I usually pass by there everyday at one time or another. When I do, I always peek at the windows in the room where he breathed his last. Not in a morbid way, but just to keep his memory alive and kicking in my cerebrum.

At Thanksgiving, I wanted to pull into the parking lot for a visit and give him a few Hershey’s minis and a word search book. At Christmas, I wanted to pull into the parking lot for a visit and give him a few Hershey’s minis and a word search book. And on Easter, I wanted to pull into the parking lot for a visit and give him a few Hershey’s minis and a word search book.

There are other days, when my mind is filled with other things that I nearly pull in for a visit.

Yet, this old mutt is learning not to do that.

The past March was arguably the worst of the winter, weather-wise, with three Nor’easters blowing through in less than three weeks.

With the weather so nasty, it was even more pleasurable to watch the PGA golf tournaments on TV. Seeing the lush green grass and deep blue skies in parts of the country where everything isn’t covered with a cold white blanket is refreshing.

But it does give me the urge to get out on the course myself and renew the frustrations of thinking I can hit the ball far and straight, then realizing I can’t.

When I do think of heading out to the links, I say to myself, “I can’t wait to win another Dunkin’ Cup from Msgr. Tom.” But then comes the tug at the heartstrings remembering that won’t be happening any more.

I was alone on the golf course on the day that he died, and I’ll be sure to make my first trip out this season alone, and reminisce about the great times we had out there.

This old mutt is learning another new trick.

I miss Tom and Larry, but there hasn’t been a day since they died that I haven’t thought of them.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to learn new tricks, and get used to their not being around. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

davejolivet@anchornews.org


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