Do you ever have the feeling you went to bed in the normal world and woke in a strange parallel universe? The world is almost the same as the one you left, almost what you expect it to be, but not quite right?
That's me this morning. I got a hint yesterday of something being wrong, but didn't get it. I was putting my tools in the car to go to "Project Cottage" and saw the police in the neighbor's yard. They all looked very serious, and I assumed there had been a burglary or something. The officers left before I was done, so I moseyed over to ask if everything was alright, and offer my help in case it wasn't. My neighbor said "I don't think I'm supposed to talk about it, but I am fine" - and I should have listened to the emphasis on I.
I woke up to the news that the neighbor in the next house is dead. He was a great guy, one of the first to welcome me to the village and always kind and helpful. He would get my mail delivered to him by accident and come over with it - he sometimes even got text messages from UPS that were for me - he always had a kind word, a smile, and a wave as he drove by the house. Sometimes in winter, I'd come home and he had shoveled my driveway!
My brain keeps presenting useless objections like, "But he was so young," "I just saw him," and "But he has a family, small children" and "But his van is there."
Of course, these objections - while true - have no impact on today's reality. He is gone, and the world is a darker place without him.