Friday, September 16, 2011


You would have turned 61 today.  Instead, today, you've been gone exactly 6 months.  16 was always your divine number, so I guess it makes perfect sense that the universe worked it out like that.

Salvatore Bruno & Susanna Lucy
More and more lately, really out of nowhere, it comes to me in this quick, searing, shocking flash that you're actually gone gone.  Like dead gone.  It's unreal.  Not like in the last few years where you were just sort of, you know, gone somewhere else  and, even though things were so different, we all knew you were still out there and around.  Distant and removed but still, technically, close.  Weird, right?!  I have to remind myself that you're not just in Pasadena or wherever and that I'll never get to talk to you again.  And I'm just so surprised at how surprising it is to me.  I mean, I'm a big girl and it wasn't like it was sudden or a surprise.  Afterall, you were sick and we all got the chance to brace ourselves and prepare, to make sure there was nothing left unsaid, but still.  It seems that the longer you've been gone, the more surreal it is to me.  It's like some absurd delayed-release grief I'm struck with.  I'll be walking down the street minding my own business (well, sort know me.) and it just hits me for no real reason.  It's like a punch in the gut and, since I'm being honest with you, it sort of takes my breath away. The car show was here last weekend and I couldn't even bring myself to set foot anywhere near it for love or KettleCorn lest there be a '67 Mustang or bathtub Porsche or some classic restored Ford pickup.  This week a song came on in spin class and I burst right in to tears.  Embarrassing, right?!  Hallelujah that I always hide in the back anyway so I don't think anybody saw, this going to happen to me every time I hear any Motown now?  Hysteria is so inconvenient!                  

Thankfully, blessedly, naturally, finally all of the good memories are rising to the top.  I'm so grateful for that because there really were so many more good, fun, happy times than not.  It weighed so heavy on me that they were tarnished for awhile by disappointment, bad decisions and wrong turns.  But I think time and perspective are polishing their veneer and--Hurray!--they're starting to shine bright again.  I sure miss the you that I remember.  And I sure wish I could talk to you today to see how you'd feel about being 61*.  And to give you my standard, annual argument that you really should dig out your enormous Virgo medallion from 1976 and wear it around the town** on your birthday.  And to make sure you know that I'm remembering you with love and affection.  And to tell you that even though the last 6 months have been kind of wacky, we're all doing ok.  We'll always be ok.

Happy Birthday.  I really, really hope that someone wherever we really go when we're gone remembered your German chocolate cake and made you blow out every single one of those candles.

* 61?!  That sounds craaaazy! That just seems kind of old, right?  Like that's how old grandparents are or something?  I just always think you're stuck around 45.

**Which you never even did one time despite all of my convincing arguments.  For as much as that thing petrified little tiny me, I'm sure it's still kind of awesome in a Studio 54ish way.