Tuesday, September 15, 2009
He would have been 78 Sept 14th but just after his 72nd birthday he had rotator cuff surgery which was successful but the next day he had a massive stroke. They kept him on a machine so that whatever organs were still good could be harvested and then he was let go. We had been together 12 years but five years before he died I sold him my house in Rochester, NY and bought my small RV and went on the road. He would join me several times over the next four years for 3 week trips and we remained good friends but he didn't like to travel for more than 3 weeks at a time. He loved his music and art and children and grandchildren. When I first met him he told me that his mother had died when he was 7 years old, his first wife committed suicide after 7 years of marriage leaving him with 3 small boys. His second wife divorced him after 7 years after giving him his beautiful daughter. I took his hand and said woman have caused you a lot of pain and knew he was standing on this huge pile of manure which could be thrown at me or I could love him better than any of those other women. As I said we were together 12 years and I think helped each other heal but we finally had to go our separate ways. We had some wonderful times and some very difficult times from which we both grew. He was a wonderful father and his children adored and sometimes protected him. His youngest son was most protective and never really approved of me but was always civil. Before he retired from Kodak where he had been an ergonomist we would always take vacations so that he could see his daughter whose mother had moved her to Richmond, VA. That brought us to the Outer banks of North Carolina several times and the Cape May Lighthouse once on our way back. When his daughter and her fiancee moved to Washington state we made a trip west and were also able to visit my daughter in San Francisco. He loved his retirement because he was free to pursue his music. He had a collection of 42 brass instruments when he died, most of which he could play and also his art. One of his last works was a chalice he made for the Unitarian church. He was a kind, thoughtful, curious, inquisitive and loved the outdoors and everything beautiful. We camped, biked, hiked, canoed, cross-country skied and even once tried snow shoeing with old snow shoes he had repaired. He loved to tinker and fix things. I learned a lot from Brian and I hope I made his life richer too.