What a week it has been ’round here. A real roller coaster ride. (The aforementioned Ohio Players sang a song “back in the day” called Love Roller Coaster, for those who don’t follow my old, and warped, mind)
Ohio is also the former (sort of) home state to our former bartender, and beloved friend Joey Seidler, who unexpectedly took his own life a week ago. Joey was one of the sweetest guys I knew. Most of the time. I never saw the rare temper firsthand witnessed by many who were closer. “He’d just snap” according to one former girlfriend, one of many former girlfriends, who spent the better part of last week sobbing on and off. And hugging each other at the wake and funeral. Joey had a way of bringing people together like that. And he had a smile that will never be forgotten. He was kind and generous to all, loved his son with all of his heart, and was a good friend to many, many people who loved him back. It is apparent (and all too obvious after the fact) that Joey’s warmth and good humor masked incredible pain deep within. A pain most definitely developed at the time in our lives when pain should be all but non existent. As a child, who seeks not much more than love and care. It is so incredibly heartbreaking to look back, and see that a man suffered so much from childhood demons, and that his world was so dark despite all of the love that surrounded him decades later, that he would feel such despair. I weep for Joey. I weep for all children who suffer at the hands of those who are so incapable of what should be so incredibly easy. Loving a child. I weep for those who are left behind, wishing they could have done more for this man-child, true or not.
For what is certainly the only time I have EVER been in a church two days in a row, we attended another funeral this week, that of a brother-in-laws father. I heard two eulogies, in two days, delivered by a best friend and a son, as each stood nobly, and read with courage and heart felt sentiments, their final good byes to a roomful of folks, as each struggled through short breath and clenched jaw, yet made it to the the final “rest in peace”. And although I probably hear less in my occasional church visits than I should (it’s a visceral thing, mostly) I heard some beautiful words this week, spoken from the heart (opposed to a book written by…oh, never mind)
And none better than; “He was lucky in love; the only fortune that truly matters in this life”
So much love, this week amidst both “endings” and 1/2 way points and new beginnings. Two couples became engaged at Cobblestones this past week. We wish them well! And our best wishes and a “ton” of love to Todd and Jocelyn (another beloved bartender) who finally got married yesterday!
Maybe, if they are perfect like me (HA!), they will all be fortunate enough to celebrate a 25th wedding anniversary as I did this past weekend, where more tears were shed at a surprise party thrown for wife Kathy and I by great friends and family members that produced friends and relatives and daughters and brothers, mothers and fathers, one by one, as we hugged a room full of people, who came to celebrate with us from NH, and Groton, New York, DC, and Chicago!! Surely many thought, “Hey, if she lasted with that guy for 25 years, the least we could do is show up for the party!!!” We are so fortunate.
And this weekend, I hugged our daughters just a little more tightly than usual.