Drove to Pittsburgh yesterday, for a memorial to my nephew Eric, who died at 39 of pancreatic cancer, leaving behind a wife of 17 years and a seven year old son. He died November 21st of 2016, but no-one in PA could go for his funeral in South Carolina. So they held this memorial. just one of the many things that made last year my worst, ever.
I lost a favorite uncle, who was buried on the same day Eric died. One of the kindest men I've ever known, and with a wonderful, clear tenor voice that will never again be raised in song. He sang the very finest "Amazing Grace" I have ever heard. I pray that someone, somewhere made a recording. All those who really knew him commented that the service would have been better if we had heard Harvey sing that song there, instead of hearing an instrumental version of it. just one of the many things that made last year my worst, ever.
I've watched my mother, in just one year, age seemingly 20 years, into a tiny, bent-backed, fragile, birdlike creature. Her memory and mentation have aged just as quickly, into querulousness, un-reasoned anger and simple loss of the mind that gave me my own sense of humor, artistic bent and other things I will always treasure. just one of the many things that made last year my worst, ever.
At the end of 2015 I was approached by the most incredible woman in the world. I linked something from her here in early 2016. We hit it off strongly, we felt the same about so many things. We talked for hours and hours. At one time we talked so long my cell phone ran out of charge, so she called me on my landline, and we continued talking.
She loved my writing, and essentially kicked me to continue (I needed the kicking) so I started a novel, which I planned to call "Stumbles" just to hear her voice telling how well (or poorly) it was coming along. She was already setting me up with literary agents, when I destroyed everything.
She also introduced me to Leonard Cohen, whom I had heard of, but never really heard, first with "Dance Me to The End Of Love" then with "Hallelujah."
I am a stubborn man, she is a stubborn woman, so of course we argued. We nearly fell apart a number of times. but for a while, neither of our hearts would allow that separation to stand. For a while.
We'd had a bigger-than-usual argument in March, but made up again.
The last civil words she ever said to me were
"You are mine,
You are mine,
but you cannot be talking to other women."
It went rapidly downhill from there.
I kept trying, like a fool. By July she accused me of stalking her online, and I lost my two main Twitter accounts due to that. It was not the loss of the accounts, but the realization that my loss of her was permanent and irrevocable, that was the main reason that last year my worst, ever.
But hey. I am over it now. I no longer look in the mirror and call myself a fool more than three or four times per day. It's been days since I've been in tears.
The last part of the Memorial Service for my nephew was an instrumental version of Leonard Cohen's "hallelujah."
So I guess it has really only been one day since I've been in tears.
Perhaps Matt's talk of "Damned Demons" hit closer to my soul than to some others.