FATHER'S DAY I celebrate in tribute to my son, to my husband's memory, and to all those fathers who are uniquely special in the lives of their family.
SMILE -- Steven Tyler sings to his father; Chris Botti on trumpet, for your viewing at this link: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=992496770834556
(That emotionally moving singular performance was originally slated to be embedded here but then became unavailable for use in that manner.)
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I'm not much in the mood for writing since I've learned what I really didn't want to know when I finally mustered the courage to conduct an internet search of a friend's name. The closest of my undergraduate college friends with whom we've kept in contact with each other all these years has died.
Jean has been writing she wanted to talk with me but preferred to call, so I waited for her to write a message advising that she was feeling up to talking and when she would phone. Her last email message to me included her saying she felt "like a slug." Now, I've discovered that two weeks later she died.
In the days before the internet, I might never have known about the death of some friends since family doesn't always make contact to convey that information. Most close friends long term have lived many miles distant from me for most of our years during our adult lives. Seldom, if ever, did we even see each other and in most instances hadn't even met each other's now adult children.
This close adult life-long friend, Jean, is the third in the past decade I've learned has died but only after I finally searched their name on the internet. I was hesitant about checking for the second person a few years later after that first loss experience. Though a letter and phone calls had elicited no response, I delayed further internet checking before finally searching only to once more find the result that I didn't want.
So, on this third occasion I finally acquired the courage to search a name once again on the internet. The screen instantly appeared and there Jean was, smiling directly at me, her face and name next to a column titled "Obituary".
I'm so glad I took a side trip stop-over to visit her and her husband as she urged I do on my flight home from visiting with my family several years ago. I wish now I had stayed longer. We could have enjoyed so much more time together. Now, there are only the memories. So much I could write, but as I said in the beginning, right now I just can't bring myself to immerse deeper into sorrow's moody pool. I will miss her!
In the decade before this current one when my friends' deaths began becoming more prevalent, some adult children never contacted me then, either, about their parent's death. One did, but not until a daughter wrote a year later, and another when a son wrote several months later.
One husband phoned me across the continent quite soon after his wife's death, then broke down on the phone and it was all I could do to emotionally keep it together as I felt I must for him. Days later the adult daughter called and after determinedly thinking I must keep my emotions under control for her, I could not.
I don't know why with other friends who died I never heard from family, especially in one specific instance. But I can appreciate simple contact delays as I guess there's really no longer any rush for any reason.
I know from my own experience there can be complications after a loved one dies, plus family members personal lives may have extra-demands, too. There's usually a rush of attention, followed by diminishing concern at some future point in time directed at the deceased's immediate family. Then that all ends and the remaining significant family member is truly alone.
All the grieving, adapting, coping can be overwhelming, giving way to the never-ending sense of loss for family and some friends. On reflection, after my husband's unexpected sudden death, I have been aware of not handling some matters in the manner which I intended or did so only part-way from what I expected to do.
Age differences between friends seem to matter little, especially since I've been older. I often think of one older-than-me long gone friend who wrote me once, "There are no friends like old friends." New friends, not always easily acquired when we're older, but who can become dear, rarely have the depth the history of time with shared life experiences and changes provides.
I note also, when an older friend dies there can be a different way of thinking about losing them than when a younger-than-me person departs. The older person is often said to have had a long life versus the younger one said to have died too young. When someone my same age dies, as was Jean, the loss resonates in a uniquely personal identification way.
I've written here before that I've found one of the most difficult aspects of ageing is the longer I live the more friends and family die before me, the fewer who remain living. My old friends and family once quite expansive in number are now down to less than I can count on one hand for the former, two hands for the latter. Memories can be cherished though they're not as rich as future personal interactions. No matter how many of those for whom I care deeply depart this earth, incorporating their loss into my life never becomes easier.
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"Donald Trump and his supporters are a clear and present danger to democracy."
Judge Luttig quote from the third House Hearing held on June 16, 2022.