When We Were Heroes

Abney, my daughter, back when she was three, in conversation with a close family friend, and processing the deaths of our dog, Mag, and my wife’s mother (who died years before Abney was born). And after listening to and singing a lot of Johnny Cash with me.

Abney: Mag died.

Friend: I know. That’s very sad, isn’t it?


Abney: Mommy’s mom died.

Friend: Yes, that was very, very sad.


Abney: Johnny Cash died.

Friend: (pause) Yes, and that’s sad too. But not quite as sad, because we don’t know Johnny Cash.


Abney: (confidently) Daddy knows Johnny Cash.