Tuesday, March 20, 2012

But WHY?

It's been two weeks now since that terrible incident that resulted in what can only be referred to as a good friends death. Those of us that are Lexicans (some prefer Lexians) to a certain degree, just can't seem to move on. He's gone and we just can't get over it. It would be easy for someone to say, "What's the problem, it's not like you really knew him. He was just online to you".

You could say that.

You could.

I wouldn't, but someone could.

But WHY????

This past year I lost some people close to me. My Dad died a year ago last month. If you haven't been through it yet, losing a parent, I'm glad for you. It's tough. As with many things, it's a complicated thing though. First, there's the issue that they are gone, with the emotional issues that are attendant to that realization. All the realizations that he's gone, I can't talk with him again, and things left unsaid. There are the arrangements, telling the family which tears whatever bit of healing open again each time you inform another family member and have to relive it again.  You don't see him around any more. You go home and for the first time he's not in his chair and he's never going to be again. You sort through what was in his pockets, on his nightstand and dresser top. You have to go through his top drawer, that magical place you've never been before. It's an opening into him that you've never had as you see bits and pieces of his life that were important enough to him to keep though you have no idea what any of them mean. While I don't know the provenance of it, I have the kangaroo from his dresser top on mine now. The service and interment are painful but help to close the loop on this process. End of Phase I.

I'm the oldest son, I gave my father's eulogy. I found it oddly comforting that even Julius Caesar had been in my place. I returned to my home and dealt with my new life, the one without my father. Begin Phase II. While walking Oreo, our dog, it was a really beautiful day in the forest and I wanted to call my Dad and share it with him. And was reminded that I could not. Tears. Later in the season (we live up north where there are seasons), I was grilling outside and once I had finished placing the meat on the grill I reached for my cellphone to call my Dad and chat with him while grilling, my usual routine and was again slapped in the face with, can't call him anymore. Tears. While working out in the garage on a project I managed what I felt was a pretty innovative solution. Went to call Dad to share it with him and, you guessed it, can't call him anymore. Drill bits, which type should I use? Can't call him anymore. In many, many ways, mostly small, there are constant reminders that he is gone and it takes awhile to get used to it. My father-in-law passed away a couple of years ago, so both of my go-to guys are gone now. I call my uncle now. For now.

A couple of months after my father died, my oldest friend from growing up clutched his chest at work and toppled over dead. I'm only fifty-five and David was only a few months younger than I. We had bonded in the crucible of the third grade with Mrs. Bell who hated us both. My folks went to the first PTA meeting and my Dad came back and apologized to me that there was nothing he could do about her. David and I were not mainstream kids and were scolded and belittled by Mrs. Bell in class, adding to our outcast status with the other kids. So we bonded and stayed friends for life. I first heard "Dust in the Wind" on his record player, months before it ever hit the airwaves as David was Mr. Avant Garde. He got grounded (not an unusual occurrence for him) and sold me his concert ticket. 9th row, center in the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium for a new group that, when he purchased the ticket, no one had heard of. Two weeks before the concert it went from barely half-full to sold out. They had a song that went wild on the charts, "Bohemian Rhapsody" and I had a killer seat to see Queen on that tour.

A year ago at this time we were trading chat messages. While in Germany for work last April we were chatting again, things old and new. David was still sending me links to music he'd found that was artistically avante garde, but I found that I still appreciated his recommendations in music. Two weeks later he died. I found out when I went to his page and saw the notice put up by his father. Just a few days ago I put up a recommendation to David's page for a song I found that I think he'd like. For the rest of my life, as long as I listen to music (always) I'll have moments and songs that will bring David to life for me. Always.

Two weeks ago I posted on the Streamers thread where Lex posted he'd had one of the horizontal variety. I'd had one of the vertical variety and compared and contrasted the two types. I asked him how his sunset looked that night. I never received a response because shortly thereafter someone posted a news article about a jet accident and the death of a pilot. We haunted the thread until we found out it was Lex.

Yesterday morning, I got up and started my routine. Fed the cats and Oreo then headed off to work out. Returned, made my coffee and some oatmeal, then sat down for my morning routine. My second bookmark is Neptunus Lex. I hit it while on muscle memory, before I could stop myself. Same thing again this morning. When I get a moment and want to see what is happening, I hit my blog bookmark list and the second one is still Neptunus Lex. My first is the Belmont Club and when I come out of that, I instinctively hit Lex's page. In a way, he's there. You can not read his writing and not feel him still alive. I think that being virtual for many of us, his link is still there, unchanged, so he's still there. We didn't see him every morning across the table or in the office or at the coffee shop, so there is no absence of him in those places to reinforce things for us and help to make it more real. Because he's been virtual for us, it's still surreal that he's really gone. Like not being able to call Mom and ask her about a recipe, or Dad about what type of drill bit, or share a new group with David, you go to Lex's place and he's not posted something new.

Every morning I get up, feed the animals, get my coffee and read my blog list. And every morning I'm reminded, he's not posting any more. That's why.

Damn it this is hard to write, I still need to get a water proof keyboard.

marcus erroneous


  1. Old AF Sarge11:37

    Marcus - Well said, especially as most of what you wrote I can say "been there - done that". Weird that you selected this topic, on this day. One of my first thoughts this morning, before marching forth to the cubicle wars, was to ask myself, "Lex is gone, he's really gone. Why can't I move on? It's not like I ever met him or spoke to him in person." That question having been asked, I realized that part of the answer is that my son-in-law is a naval aviator, my daughter is a Naval Flight Officer (both in Super Hornets) and many moons ago I made a living (sort of) maintaining the weapons systems on the F-4 Phantom. Once aviation is in your blood, it never really leaves. But for the grace of God, Lex's misfortune could've been inflicted on two of my kids, both have been to Fallon many times. The son-in-law is currently deployed on the Big E and will no doubt be soon flying the unfriendly skies someplace where the natives just don't like us very much. Yeah, that keeps me up at times. And my daughter, after two years out of the cockpit (bringing my granddaughter into the world) is now back in refresher training, soon to return to the back seat of the Rhino. Don't think that doesn't make me sweat! At any rate, keep the faith Brother. Your words speak truth. For Strength!

    P.S. I prefer "Lexian", not that it matters one way or t'other.

  2. In discussions with other Lexicans I find the same thing going on. Many are still dealing with it, some have not the spirit to post, others are just adrift. This post reflects these conversations along with my feelings, my experiences, and my thoughts.

    I had occasional issues while my son was deployed to Afghanistan. While not logical or fair, it's okay if I'm over there doing dangerous stuff, but not my children, even though he's trained for it and ready for it and the torch has been passed to him. Still, it's a parent thing and there's really not much to be done for it.

    You know as well as I that those kids are where they want to be and you could not drag them out of those cockpits kicking and screaming. As painful as it is, they would be where they very much want to be if anything happens. And it's up to us to respect and honor that choice.

    marcus erroneous

  3. My dad died in 1995 at age 63; there are still times all these years later that I hear a silly joke or see something I know would please him and think - oh I have to tell daddy. It never stops; you just learn to accept it and cherish the fact that you had a parent who left you with such cherished memories and experiences.

    Lex - sigh. I keep checking the blog as well, wondering why for the upmteenth time am I doing this to myself. It makes no kind of sense and yet there we are - many of us doing the same thing. Eventually I think I'll start digging around the archives; I've tried a few times and just can't do it. It's like going to make the phone call to my dad and realizing he won't ever answer again.

    It sucks. Pure, unadulterated suckage.

    1. Kris,

      Yeah, you and most of the rest of us it seems. I can't stay away. Reading folks favorite posts on the FB page and some of the other blogs helps. It's like surfing his archives, you never know where you'll end up, but you get to hear him again. It helps, it really makes me appreciate even more how significant the loss of his voice is, but it helps because I get to hear him again.


  4. Nice one Marcus. Kick started me again so I whiled away an hour on a post myself this morning. Getting somewhere, slowly, but getting somewhere.