I met Peter when I was 20 and a waitress at the Hungry Tiger near LAX. Peter worked next door at Hewlett Packard, a short walk across the parking lot. He would come in almost every evening with a couple of his hard drinking coworkers and "unwind" over a few beers.
I can remember over hearing their conversations about the strange world of computer games. This was in the early 70s when a digital display on a wrist watch was seen as a futuristic phenomenon. Can you imagine? Later I learned that the game these guys were inventing next door at HP was the very first video game ever called PONG. Peter dropped a cocktail napkin on my tray one night on which he had scribbled a few words. It read "Let me buy you breakfast and a new set of tires tomorrow". He had come to know my red VW Beatle that sat in the lot every night, and noticed the wear on my tires.
That was the beginning of my relationship with Peter which has endured many a twist and turn through the years that have followed. I broke his heart when I married in 81, and whilst on that rocky road we kept in touch until it was over. He bought me my dream house in 84, and helped me wander to Hawaii some time later. He was there when I returned and still is today.
His open heart surgery in 02 was scarey, but not as scarey as throat cancer, radiation and chemo therapy in 05 which forced him to retire. Still struggling with those after effects, his life is pretty simple these days. It's all about finding something to eat that's easy to swallow since the therapy killed his saliva glands, and making every doctor visit to see if it's come back. So far it has not.
In July he had his left side hip replacment surgery to match the one he had on the right last February, and yesterday he was able to finish his 3 mile walk. Life is short, friends. It goes by in a heart beat.