Sunday, February 05, 2012

In Memory

--Matthew Kavan Brooks
(quote by Camus)

What was to come about

has not.

Spring was to be on its way.

and happiness, among other things.

Fear was to leave the mountains and valleys.

The truth was supposed to finish before the lie.

--The End of the Century,

Wislawa Szymborka


In memoriam to our friend, John:

It was at this time of year we lost touch with John Fitzpatrick (i.e., "Lurch), who was a regular poster at his now-defunct military site "Main and Central".

John was a dear friend to RangerAgainstWar -- our first champion, a trusted adviser, extremely informed and a true gentle man, underneath his crusty demeanor. When we met him online in 2006, he was still recovering from the shock of losing his dearly beloved wife of many years. He was ambivalent about rejoining the world in a bodily way, but his little dachshund ("The Master of the Universe") kept him on task and about the duties of life.

I came to know him over the next year in a personal way, and on reflection can see the evolution in his thought. He grew from despair over the agonies his late wife endured, and anger at the medical system, toward a slightly more hopeful view of life. He was a cinephile, and we were to have begun our own little film society. He also loved world music, and kindly introduced me to new sounds.

John was quite chipper on our last phone call in late January; I was planning to visit him in Boynton Beach the following month.
The last thing I recall him saying, quite spontaneously, was, "I need a woman!" "Yes, John, you do." He had tried dating once, but was not ready yet. I think he was beginning to feel the life impulse again just prior to his death.

He was just concluding a visit with another friend who had departed back North, and he was suffering upper respiratory distress. He had allergies, so I presumed he knew how to monitor himself. In retrospect, I suspect he had pneumonia, and died in his sleep. Many of us -- especially men -- are not very good about going to the doctor when necessary, and I wish I had suggested it; military men are generally good at taking orders, even if one risks being seen as a harpy in the process.

John's passing is a loss for the world, but he did not live in vain. We hope his soul is at peace.

Ranger has suffered a few losses this week, and it's put us in a contemplative mind. It is trite, of course, but we pass this way only once. If you are having a sucky day, it is your sucky day, and it shall be the only one on this date, ever. Try and lift things up just a bit, if possible. Be a bit outrageous or a little brilliant, if you see an opportunity. At least don't be a burden; those come with the territory, and we don't need any more, thanks.

Happy Sunday.

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Anonymous Juan Moment said...

If I had my life to live over again,
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d relax.
I’d limber up.
I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances,
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones.
you see, I’m one of those people who was sensible and sane,
hour after hour,
day after day.

Oh, I’ve had my moments.
If I had to do it over again,
I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else- just moments,
one after another, instead of living so many yeas ahead of each day.
I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute.
If I could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had to live my life over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances,
I would ride more merry-go-rounds,
I would pick more daisies.

- Nadine Stair

Monday, February 6, 2012 at 5:29:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thank you for sharing, Juan. It is so true!

Monday, February 6, 2012 at 11:38:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous CTuttle said...

Mahalo for the great memoriam, Jim and Lisa...! I miss Lurch and Main and Central...! R.I.P...!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 5:42:00 PM GMT-5  

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