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A friend posted her Pennsic XXXVIII pictures on Facebook. There were lots and lots of pictures from the battlefield. I began to scan them, looking for familiar armor, familiar heraldry.

Per fess embattled Or and vert, in chief a demi-dragon erect and in base four mullets in cross counterchanged.

It wasn't there. Anywhere. At first there was the old disappointment, that he hadn't been captured in any of the pictures. It happened sometimes--not often, but sometimes. And then...the why...why that familiar form, familar surcoat was not in any of those pictures. Would never be again.

Yet again I remembered the thing I never forget.

It is a strange thing, how memory and life mingle, intertwine, and ultimately can become indistinguishable. So much of who we are, what we do, is indivisible from the memory of what we were, what we did. It is as though we exist simultaneously in the then and the now, and those who were with us then are simply out of sight, as they were in those times when they were somewhere else--but only for an hour, a work day, a weekend. They are not gone, they are only absent. Their smile, their laughter, their gentle touch something for which we only need wait a little while, and then we will have them again, building more images of now, that will be a thing, which, in turn, creates the who we are.

At times that illusion is a blessing, creating a foundation, a peace, that allows us to put one step in front of the other, to plan, to hope, to dream.

At others, it is a cruelty, like one of the dreams in which they still live. Then we wake to a world where yet again they are gone, and we lose them. Again.