Wispy White Clouds

by Norman Horowitz

Nearly three quarters of my lifetime ago, I loved and then I married.

Nearly one quarter of my lifetime ago, I loved again.

Nearly four years ago, I met Valerie, the light and love of my life.

Nearly two years ago, the light that was the physical presence of Valerie flickered and then went out.

I shared only two years with Valerie and was with her at the moment of her death when her beautiful blue eyes closed for the last time.

And now I have a few rhetorical mind-blowing questions that I have pondered before and now think of again because of Valerie:

Was there ever a time before the beginning of time?

Will there be a time after the end of time?

Was there ever a time that there was space at the end of space?

Was there ever space before the beginning of space?

Belief in God allows you to ignore these questions or not care about their answers.

As a rule, I don’t care about these answers, but thinking about and pining for Valerie made me re-think my not caring.

Belief in an unknown higher power like God will allow you to at least try to explain the otherwise inexplicable.

A goldfish believes that there is a higher power because food is regularly sprinkled on top of its bowl and someone regularly changes the water.

I consider myself to be an atheist. Do I from time to time wonder whether all that exists can be some sort of cosmic accident? Yes, I do, and yet I find the notion of God to be similar to the notion that there is a Santa Claus or a Tooth Fairy.

I have for many years wondered about reincarnation. I found myself overlooking Long Island Sound shortly after sunrise last Friday. As I looked overhead, there was a bevy of weirdly-shaped wispy white clouds. I inexplicably wondered if my friend Valerie was actually one of those clouds.

To explain the inexplicable a little further, Valerie was not “riding” on a particular cloud but was now, two years after her death, a wispy white cloud peacefully floating above the earth.

Valerie often called me “Norman, my Norman,” and I was to be “hers,” all of me.

She was a wispy woman during her life, so why would her soul not become a wispy white cloud after her death? She would have liked that, I think.

I wonder.