The Other End of Sunset

Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's an anniversary

365 days ago, today. At 1:30 Pacific time, at home in Danville, California, JR died from bile duct cancer.

I'm in Asia, and hence many hours ahead. So I got to the anniversary before you all did. Please forgive me for jumping the gun, slightly, on the actual anniversary (it's the evening of the 22nd in Danville, so I'm early.)

I wrote about her death, here.

I wrote an Elegy for her, while she was alive, here. It made her cry, and hug me, and feel loved.

Although I said I would, I don't think I ever posted her picture. So here's one.

A bad picture of me, but that's ok. This was taken at a holiday party by my best friend a few years ago. Jeanne is in the midst of making some sarcastic crack -- I don't remember what, but I recognize the semi-smile on her face as the expression she wore when she was "commenting".

She was lovely, and kind, and gentle. She had a wicked sense of humor, and loved high heel shoes. She always wanted pearls, and a Jaguar, and to be loved by a person more than she loved them. She loved dogs, and hated injustice, and thought that there was always time to shop.

She was lovely, wasn't she?

I can see her, in my mind's eye, now; the picture is fuzzed ever so slightly by the tears, but it's still clear. In the last year, I guess I've changed. I have some gray hair, which is new. I have lost weight, which was probably good. I have more tattoos.

But I still feel the grief. I'm not sure if I feel enough. In the romantic stories, the widower is completely broken for years afterwards. Perhaps I should be debilitated by it, as well. For me, the grief is like carrying a backpack -- it's heavy, too heavy, and often throws me off balance, and I forget it's there and hit people with it in crowded situations.

I wonder if I'm doing it right.

I miss you, JR. I hope you are warm, and happy, and dressed in a very nice dress with 5 inch heels, and a glass of scotch, and looking at something that you haven't finished painting, but you plan to finish, really soon.

For those of you who knew her, or know me, or are willing, please do me a favor? On June 23rd, at 1:30pm (in your time zone), find someone you love, or someone you care about, or someone you SHOULD care about, and give them a hug.

Jeanne would like that.