Saturday, February 4, 2012

Larger than

My Godparents danced at their granddaughter's wedding.

I danced with both of them.

This afternoon, they were sitting at the kitchen table. like everyday.  He said he felt dizzy and then just keeled over and died.

My heart breaks for my Godmother who must have just freaked out, and yet I am filled with joy that this is the way he died.  What a great thing, to sit with the Love of Your Life, and just go.  And what a terrible thing, to watch the Love of Your Life,  just go.

This is someone who has had such a huge impact on my life.  He was a staunch Republican, although as a doctor, he did believe that people were born gay.  He was a member of the Bohemian Club and loved to sing.  He played the cello, although lost time as the song went on.  He and two grandchildren on the cello, piano and violin respectively played carols every Christmas that he insisted the rest of us sing to.  I always pretended it was reluctantly, but it wasn't.

He told me many times that I should start looking around for someone to have babies with because it I would make such a good mom.  Then when I was no longer in my thirties, he told me to adopt, and where was that man I was gonna marry anyway?

Good Question.  I still don't have an answer.

When my Dissertation was stolen and published by my adviser,  I was heartbroken and not sure I could keep going. It was a phone call from him that let me know I could. He said that there will always be people who do the wrong thing, and it was up to me to do the right thing.  Always.

I want to tell you it was a touching conversation. It wasn't. He dropped that bomb and then handed the phone to my Godmother.  He was off to the next thing that caught his attention.

This was his greatest asset and his greatest weakness.  He was interested in everything, but not necessarily for a long time.  Unless he loved you, and then he was going to insert his opinion, and heaven help you if you didn't agree because he would keep after you until you agreed.  I learned to agree and do what I wanted anyway.

Every Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember, they threw a party. I worked the kitchen every year since I was seventeen for extra money as it seemed that I was eternally in college. (The only exception is when they were out of the country, or in an apartment because he was serving a stint in the Navy at the age of 50 something).

I saw the same people every year, and I know that it was him that kept the party going.  I know this because about ten years ago, she pulled me aside and said she didn't want to throw the party anymore. They did anyway, and still I kept the plates full.  This year, three weeks ago, was the first year I did not work the party or help with dishes.  I will miss the party as much as I miss him.

He was convinced that we were directly opposed on all political issues.  So we went to breakfast and asked each other questions.  We were more alike than different.  This took him by surprise.  We differed only in religious questions, with him being Old School Episcopalian and me being a lot more modern in thought and patience. At the end of the breakfast, he sat back, cleared his throat and said "Well, your opinions are a lot more well thought out than I thought they were."

This was as good as it was gonna get and I knew it.  I smiled at him, and said, "Backatcha,' Old Man."

It was an amazing charmed life and filled with so much,  We should all be so lucky to dance so much