On this somber anniversary, I invite you to celebrate with me the lives of Ron Gamboa, Dan Brandhorst, and their young son, David, lost far too soon. Please click here to read my tribute to them, written just after Bin Laden’s death. It was a difficult piece to write, and I hope you find some value within it.
Every once in a while I find things online that really move me, such as this. While searching for lyrics to a Mary Chapin Carpenter song, I stumbled on a website that a man made in tribute to his deceased wife. I thought his story, along with the poem he discovered, were well worth sharing with my dear friends. But he tells it better than I…
I was loved once, by an angel.
This is my tribute page to my late wife Beth since she isn’t here to make her own. I hope she would approve. As you can see she was beautiful on the outside. She was beautiful on the inside too. And brilliant. So brilliant it could scare you but she never ever made anyone feel “small” in any way (except if they really deserved it).
I watched an Ally McBeal (repeat) recently. The episode where the older famous (now deemed incompetent) artist paints only his dead wife. If I could paint (like my brother), I would paint Beth over and over again too.
For all of you out there, maybe alone, and wondering if you’ll ever meet your special someone, Beth and I lived in different states (me in upstate NY and she in NC) and “met” through a personals ad in the Mensa magazine. So you see, it can and does happen.
Beth died suddenly of a heart attack at the very young age of 44.
She wasn’t one to keep things (sayings) on her wall but she had clipped this one and had it hanging in her office. I asked that it be read at her service and include it here in case you may find it relevant to your own life and whatever time is left you.
You never know, do you.
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“If I Had My Life To Live Over”
by Nadine Stair, age 85
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d relax. I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.
I would take more trips.
I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I’m one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day.
Oh, I’ve had my moments and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments.
One after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I’ve been one of those people who never go anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute.
If I had it to do again, I would travel lighter next time.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the Spring and stay that way later in the Fall.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.
More of his tribute can be found here.
As we note the 30-year mark in the ongoing battle against HIV/AIDS, it seemed an appropriate time to publish this short story. I dedicate this to all of my friends, gone, but not forgotten, as well as those still fighting.
Jeffrey gazed up at the ceiling and, again, he began to count. It didn’t matter that he’d counted them before, or that he knew the number of holes by heart — 3,016. It also didn’t matter that he always counted the same square, never changing. The number of holes was constant; as constant as his mother sitting numbly in her chair, stumbling through her crossword. What mattered most to Jeffrey was that he knew it. And since he knew it, it could never be taken away.
He sighed, though no one heard it, and thought of Kevin. Blond, handsome, studly Kevin. How had everything gone so wrong? Jeffrey’s mind raced over the details of their relationship, sifting through the rubble for clues. The beginning, middle, end.
No one thing stood out as wrong or imminent or foreboding. When Jeffrey’s suspicions were confirmed and it did end, there were the expected rows, and tearful apologies, and scenes in restaurants. But no one could have foreseen the agonizing pain that would come to Jeffrey. He’d gotten through it, eventually, and now Jeffrey was alone. Sadly alone.
He filled his time well, though. Going through his Rolodex and renewing friendships. Making dinner plans, and festive theatre outings, and endless gym workouts–anything to stay away from that apartment. The reminders. The memories. (more…)