Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Longing for Life

I met him the night of Ned's memorial service at Life Touch where Ned worked. It was Thursday, July 25, 2013. After Amy offered to bring our mom home, I went with Anne to a happy hour for Ned at the Greek place that moved to Eden Prairie from 394, Santorini’s. Mark Kelly's two children, Bridgett and Jack, were celebrating their graduations from Normandale and Minnetonka High School that evening. I must have had more movement in me then, more than two years ago, than I do now, because I went from getting laid in a hotel room with a newcomer dream man, to Ned's memorial the next day, to the Kelly graduation party at Jake O'Connor's last. I felt and continued to feel knocked over by the shock, but I could go somewhere in a way that almost since then I almost cannot. I shared a heartfelt, unexpected talk with Lori's mom about Jim Toonen's heart attack when we were in grade school, in '72 or so. That was the first time someone I knew died. The family asked us, some of Lori's young friends, to attend the funeral at Lakewood Cemetery. For Judy, gathered in the hospital waiting room with Jim's family members, not knowing what would happen to her husband, if he would live following his heart attack running for a plane in Chicago (they must have flown him still alive to Minneapolis), the pain turned her into a lady faking hospitality, as if she were giving a tea party. She said she kept asking everyone how they were doing, as if offering to pour them tea. There was no tea. Her husband died at 32. I thanked her for telling me as a woman. Then I moved to the bar to get a beer. An extremely pretty girl turned up to say something to Lori. It was someone Lori knew, a sixth grader wearing make-up, whose dad was also there somewhere at the party. Lori said she wanted me to meet him. David. His daughter lost her mother to suicide at nine. We have gone to dinner twice since then and shared dinner at their house.