This is the summer of our discontent. Except it isn’t summer yet. I’ll go into it tomorrow. Instead, today I’ll just wish my darling nephew Stuart a happy birthday. He was born in 1971, and he was the sweetest baby, the sweetest kid. He had a sunny smile, a darling disposition, even though he had to go through a lot of eye surgeries when he was a kid to correct his crossed eyes (there must be a PC term for that nowadays). He was teased in school, but he never let it get him down (he never let much get him down). He went to France and Russia, he broke his hip ski-jumping and pretty much bounced back up again. Oh, he wasn’t perfect. He got a little pompous in his mid to late teens, but he was coming out of it, and God knows it’s hard to find your identity at that age. He was one of those bony, vulnerable little boys you see and either want to hug or weep over. At eighteen he’d learned to fly.
He died when he was eighteen. He’d let a friend with a learner’s permit drive his car, she took a corner too fast and was heading straight for another car. So he grabbed the wheel, they went in the opposite direction, off a bridge, and he had electric windows. He managed to get her out. Even with nearby construction workers and over 50 people trying desperately to help him, they couldn’t get him out in time.
Not to bum everyone out. He lived a rich, gorgeous life in his 18 years, and as someone pointed out to me, he never had to get old. He could be a boy forever.
But you know, he would have been adventurous and happy (and hell, maybe a little pompous) no matter what age he was, no matter what challenges he met. Time passes, it doesn’t necessarily heal things but you learn to live with a hole in your heart. Mine’s getting to be a bit like Swiss cheese.
He was Mini-me’s brother.
My task for the week is to work past the blues that descended on both me and Richie. It comes from a variety of things — a day of snow on Saturday, my son being a first-class prick on his birthday, financial stress, etc. For the first time in a while Richie felt worse than me when we went out for lunch yesterday.
So I need to cheer myself and Richie up. Do I need to take responsibility for Richie? Pretty fucking co-dependent of me. I think the thing is to see what I can do to help him feel better, feel a little more positive, but not go into a decline if I can’t. Even though we’re joined at the hip I have to let go with love if I can’t change it and can’t cure it. Especially because I know I didn’t cause it.
Oh, plus I have revisions to do, and then head down to Albany and back to Jenny’s on Friday, which is a mixed blessing. I just did the drive, but at least Richie did it, and it’s getting to be a long drive.
But I get to spend time with friends in Albany and I get to have time with Jenny where we can do our usual girly things. Plus I miss the advent of Richie’s family, and right now they’re a major problem for me.
So it’s all good. Managing the eating better — I just hope I don’t slip too much as I revise the book.
Oh, and I must Clean All Things. No, actually I must take measured half hours chipping away at stuff, starting with the bedroom, since that’s where I work.
So, what’s on your agenda?