The Long Goodbye

“The photograph reflects. Every streetlight a reminder.” — “Nightswimming,” R.E.M.

“These wheels keep turning but they’re running out of steam. Keep me in your heart for a while.” — “Keep Me In Your Heart,” Warren Zevon

These are some of the last photographs I took of Bernie. Looking back, I can’t help but wonder if he was saying a long goodbye by doing certain things one last time.

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The Finger of Destiny

What will you do when the finger of Destiny points at you?

For us, we decided to adopt her. Maybe it was destiny (pun intended) that she came to us. She arrived in Chicago the same week that Bernie passed. And she joined us right as we were about to embark on a particularly difficult period without him and helped us through it.

Plus, she’s been such a sweetheart that we just couldn’t let her go. She took to us from the moment she arrived home, and we definitely fell for her. Looks like we’ve failed as foster parents.

However, we just couldn’t abide by her name. So from henceforth, she will be known as Dessie Lisa Vito. First of her name. Queen of all she surveys. Barker at other dogs. Killer of rodents. Conquerer of bed space.

Welcome to the family, Dessie. Thank you for helping heal our broken hearts. Now if you’d only stop trying to kill all those possums.

No Other that Compares With You

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
Sail away, kill off the hours
You belong somewhere you feel free

Run away, find you a lover
Go away somewhere all bright and new
I have seen no other
Who compares with you

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
You belong with your love on your arm
You belong somewhere you feel free

Run away, go find a lover
Run away, let your heart be your guide
You deserve the deepest of cover
You belong in that home by and by

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong somewhere close to me
Far away from your trouble and worry
You belong somewhere you feel free
You belong somewhere you feel free

— Tom Petty, “Wildflowers.”

In Memoriam: Bernie Yuen-Li

“Oh honey, look at this one!” my wife gesticulated to me one night, holding out her phone with glee.

It was a picture of a small, tan-and-white dog named “Axel.” Felines & Canines, one of the local shelters in Chicago, had just posted his info. Apparently, he was a corgi-mix that had just reached the shelter after being rescued from Kentucky and he was already charming everyone with his gentlemanly demeanor.

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