Easy as 1, 2, 3

Easy as one two, three.

I am always drawn to those words.

Whenever I am about to begin a new project in my life, I look for the quickest way to get it done.

If I am fixing the sink, I choose the parts that say, "Easy as one, two, three."

If I am staining the deck, I scan the aisles for the can that says "Easy as 1,2,3."

If I am adding a storm door to my house, I want to find the one that says, "So easy anyone can do it Easy as 1,2,3."

There's something about the number three. If I go to the grocery store and I need to pick up more than three items I have to write them down. I can always remember three, but four or more get lost.

I can remember the first steps my boys took, "one, two, three."

Then there are the memories of teaching them how to ride a bike.

"I'll walk along side of you and when I count to three, I'm going to let go," I told them.

"One...two...three..." and before I knew it they were driving cars.

As easy as one, two, three they were gone.

Most of my life I have always had one dog. I couldn't't even imagine having more. That is until we had Ricky and Lucy. Two of the greatest dogs a guy could have.

"Wouldn't't three be even greater?" I asked my wife.

"Not until we get a bigger house," she replied.

So, I built and addition onto the one we had.

I felt like a child asking, "Now can we get another dog?"

I found out after a few years of talking about it that she never thought I was serious.

Imagine that. Talking about something for years and one wouldn't't be taken seriously.

How many years? You guessed it...three.

There it was again.

Well, this past Father's Day my wife came home with another dog. I call him Phil.

Having three dogs is all I ever imagined it to be and more.

So, it would appear to be obvious that three would have to be my lucky number, my favorite roll of the dice, the number I'd place a bet on or the horse I'd pick in a race.

It was until recently.

It was a normal phone call I thought, from my friend. I hear from him only a few times a year, but for some reason I expected to hear his voice when he called that day.

"Well, it's about time!" I said when I answered the phone. "I looked at the caller ID and thought, I think I know that number. Don't tell me...Oh, yes...Jim."

There was silence.

"Hey, are you there?" I asked.

"Yes, I'm here," he said quietly.

"Do you have a cold? You sound like you're losing your voice or something."

"No. It's not a cold."

I rambled on for a few more minutes and suddenly realized that I was doing all of the talking.

"What's going on? You never let me talk this long."

"Bob, I've got something to tell you."

I waited. He hesitated a bit longer and finally said, "I've been ill. They say I'm dying."

There was a deep silence that felt like my heart stopped and I suddenly went deaf. There was a void in the conversation that no proper words could fill.

Then he said, "They give me three months."

How odd that my first reaction was, "It can't be. Three is my favorite number."

How perfectly selfish and stupid. Why would I think that at this time?

He's dying and I'm upset because they chose to tell him he had three months. Why not four? Five or six are good numbers, too.

I realized afterwards that three was perfection to me. Everything about that number meant happy things in my life. Nobody should make three a bad number.

The truth is it is just a number.

There is power in one. There is friendship and love in two. In the Bible, the number three often times reflects divine perfection.

Okay, he could have it. Divine perfection. The sum of all he was, all I ever knew him to be as a friend, a husband and a father could be described as divinely perfect.

I spoke to Jim two more times before he died. Yes, three in all.

He died on the third of the month just three days shy of his three month prognosis.

The obituary said he was the father of three.

Losing him is difficult. Remembering him...easy as one, two, three.

~ Bob Perks ~

[ by: Bob Perks Copyright © 2008 (2believe@comcast.net) -- {used with permission} ]

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