Seven Years Out

Today has been an emotion-filled day. It was the second day of the United States Senate hearing of the case for the impeachment of Donald Trump presented by the United States Congress. Yesterday was heartbreaking as America watched videos of violent mobs storming our nation’s capitol and sending our elected lawmakers into hiding out of fear for their lives. Today was more of the same, and my resentment toward Republican lawmakers can only be described now as a total lack of respect for them as it becomes apparent that they will make any excuse they can find to avoid convicting Trump of inciting this riot. All honest people know he is responsible. Perhaps listening to the impassioned speeches of Democratic members of the House of Representatives led in part to my several weepy moments throughout the day. I also finished watching` a short HBO series called “The Night Of” which was very moving but hard to watch. The show included a cast of characters that are more typically cast in terms of good and bad. This series was much more subtly written than most TV dramas. In this show, the viewer was forced to feel some sympathy for the most hardened criminals, and had to accept that the hero of the series was at times dishonest and weak. Even the most sympathetic character commits an act which is devastating to her and others, for which she is completely responsible, while a seemingly weak and flawed lawyer is shown to have a side that makes one’s heart break for him.

When I’ve had days like this before I’ve sometimes later realized they coincide with anniversary dates of one event or another. I went back to read Leslie’s diary entry from exactly seven years ago. On this date we met with a neurosurgeon from the University of Colorado who was a co-investigator on a clinical trial for glioblastoma. This date is not especially significant, but the entire first two weeks of February are, since this was the period when we were coming to grips with Leslie’s diagnosis of a terminal disease. I read on to the next day’s entry in her journal and it helped me remember that she decided very quickly that she did not want to participate in a clinical trial that held very little promise of extending her survival or improving her quality of life, and would mean she would have to make personal sacrifices in order to meet the demands of the trial. I remember at the time some of her family did not initially understand why she would not pursue all available treatment options.

Going back to the impeachment trial, I am especially saddened that I have people that I care very much for that don’t view Trump’s behavior the same way I do. I know I can never talk to them about what is the largest event in our recent national history without breaching our friendship, but I don’t know if it can be avoided. One friend in particular, I fear, has been avoiding what has become a pretty tight-knit group through a Zoom song circle during the pandemic. He is a talented and valued member of the group but has not participated since the January 6th riots. Perhaps it is a coincidence, but we all miss him and wonder if he either doesn’t want to risk hearing the rest of us weight in on what has been going on, or else is glued to Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity for support during these divisive times. Who knows? As an aside, although Joe Neguse is not my representative in the House (Diana DeGette is), he is from Colorado, and we should be proud as a state to have him speak as someone representing us.

This website is devoted to Leslie’s memory, and is not supposed to be about me, but I see that my posts are starting to be about my own thoughts and state of mind as I adjust to life without Leslie. I suppose that is natural. I don’t want to stop updating the site, so I will continue to add my thoughts from time to time.

Leslie has a granddaughter – Noa. She was born in September of 2019 and I will create a page for posting pictures of her when I have time. When I think of how much Leslie loved her step granddaughters Ainsley and Elliot it is heartbreaking (maybe heartwarming) to think how thrilled she would be to hold her own granddaughter, the daughter of her son Lukas. When she died I don’t think Lukas knew for sure whether he ever wanted to be a father. But I am proud to say that both he and my son Jeff are two of the three most loving fathers I have every observed. These two children, Noa and Owen, who are only a few months apart in age, will grow up experiencing guidance and support that few children know. I am looking forward to becoming a very old man just so I can watch them grow, along with Ainsley and Elliot, as they also both prosper under the equal devotion of their father Sam.

Finally, I’ve been thinking about my experiences with romance since being widowed. These thoughts also contributed to my shifting moods today. I don’t know if I am typical or not of upper middle-aged men (do I have to say elderly at 70?) who start dating again after the death of their wives. I should come with a warning that any woman interested in me will have to accept being shared with the memory of Leslie that I will carry to my death. This is not a choice I make. It is a part of who I am. I was told by the woman with whom I was most seriously involved that I had had enough time to forget Leslie. This seriously damaged our relationship. My memories for Leslie would have in no way limited my ability to care for her, but her attitude did. Of the several women I have gotten close to in the past five plus years (the majority strictly platonic) I feel a great deal of gratitude and affection, in a way that is very different than if I were in my late teens or twenties thinking about finding a mate. Somehow I feel a permanent bond, even though some I might never have contact with again. I can’t really explain this, and I doubt that the feeling is reciprocated. And that doesn’t matter. It is nice to know that in my mind a connection was made.

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