Steve

Today I found out via a text message that a former boyfriend died suddenly Thursday night from an as yet unknown cause.

He was in his 50s.

Far too young to die.

Long ago, when we first met I was madly in love with him and imagined that we had a future together.

But it was a long distance relationship and he seemed more happy being single than being with me for the long haul so we parted ways.

I’ll never forget when (nearly a decade later) he added me as a friend on Facebook.

Bold, I thought.

But Steve was always bold and daring.

And smart as a whip!

We managed to meet up a few times and catch up on the latest and greatest in our lives.

He took me on a sailboat ride around the bay and we ran out of gas.

Literally.

Ironically, neither one of us knew how to sail properly at the time.

Despite that, I had a lovely day on the water with him.

I took pictures and blogged my trip, for which he suggested the title “Fucking Steve!”

I will remember him as the strong, invincible, highly intelligent man I knew him to be.

If I know Steve, he’s in Valhalla celebrating his eternal soul with a beer and pretty ladies while telling stories of his amazing life.

Rest in peace

My maternal grandmother was born in Pennsylvania on April 7, 1923.  She passed away in her sleep on Monday, July 15, 2019 at the ripe age of 96.  She was loved and will be dearly missed by her family.  I will think of her often, especially when I’m cooking some of her favorite dishes: piggies (stuffed cabbage leaves), pierogi, and meatloaf.  I’m so glad we had 45 wonderful years together and knowing you are going to your final resting place next to Grandpa softens the blow of losing you.

Gone too soon

January 31st was my friend Austin’s birthday.

He would have been 44 years young.

He was a handsome man with an extraordinary spirit and the world was diminished when we lost him.

Part of me never understood why he was friends with me.

He was sexy, smart, and funny.

I was mixed up and struggling.

Not exactly the perfect match.

We went to high school together but he was friends with my sister.

It wasn’t until I kicked out posts on my blog unblunder that we connected.

My blog was his guilty pleasure.

He took me to have Ethiopian food at Zeni and I wore a long, white dress which I proceeded to drop Ethiopian food all over.

He was amused.

But I loved that we were so busy talking it took us 30 minutes to order our food.

And I loved that he let me eat with my fingers.

We also drove up Mt. Hamilton to a kitchy little restaurant and had BBQ.

I dressed more appropriately for that.

When I was on my Adventure kick, he joined me in the melee that was The Great Bull Run because I asked him to. He even recorded me running with the bulls from a safe position sitting on top of a 6 foot fence.

Like I said, he was smart.

I’m not sure I can share my favorite memory of Austin because it’s X-rated but it involved a little herb, some sheets, and a lot of friction.

Ironically, what Austin and I did have in common was grief. I’d lost a son to cancer and my BFF to murder.  He lost a beloved girlfried to suicide.

We both knew what it was like to walk through life carrying burdens seemingly too heavy to carry.

I once told him, “When Douglas (my son) died of cancer, if I could’ve willed my heart to stop beating, I would have. I didn’t want to live.”

He replied, “They’re two different things – wanting to die and not wanting to live.”

And, as it turns out, they are.

Which is why I am here writing this post to him and he is resting peacefully.

 

 

P.S. I was able to find the video clips Austin sent me before he died. Still can’t watch them, but it’s nice to know they’re there when I’m ready.

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Rest in Peace Andrew

andrewI transferred in to a new kindergarten when I was only 5 years old. I came home from school with a new friend, Andrew Bagby. He asked me to come over his house to play.

Andrew and I grew up together. He was quite simply the best and most amazing human being I’ve ever met. Our friend Jon put it very succinctly when he said that when Andrew would walk into a room everyone would breathe a sigh of relief.

On November 5, 2001 Andrew was murdered. Fourteen years ago to the day. Plenty of time for me to mourn him and miss him. In my mind I’ve created alternate stories for his life that never end in murder and loss. He is a celebrated physician who grows old with a wife and kids – beloved father, son, and friend to many.

Our friend Kurt Kuenne is a filmmaker and he made an incredible documentary about Andrew and the legal battle to extradite his “accused” murderer from Canada to the US for prosecution. If you want a good cry, watch “Dear Zachary” on Netflix. When I watch it I go through an entire bottle of cabernet so I recommend doing the same.

I love sharing stories of Andrew with other people and keeping his memory alive. He was an outstanding young man who would have continued to make a difference in this world had his life not been ended so tragically.

I love you Andrew.

You’re always in my heart. I carry you in it.

 

Photo credit Richard Kuenne