Thursday, March 24, 2011

Milestoned part 2

Today is the day I get my first haircut since the big shave of February 2010. "It's just will grow back" was my mantra. Now here I am with a robust Seinfeld mullet and an appointment to get it cut into something fresh and new. As I watch and wait for my mom's to grow back I realize it's much more than hair. I mean I always knew that but when you are bald as a cue ball you try and trick yourself from feeling the depressarios that come with said baldness. As you watch it grow you feel like it's springtime...that it's healing your body...that you are owning your inner woman again. Just hair or not, it's been quite the journey. Like my Dad said this a.m. "I'm just so glad you have some to cut." You and me both, Papa. Now for my self indulgent trip down baldery lane.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Oh Buzzy.

I've been kind of quiet on here because we have had a run of some sad news and writing about it just felt depressing.

But it's time. I just got word that my Godfather, Buzzy (his name was Bill but he was always Buzzy to us) passed on to his next adventure this morning. He was diagnosed with lung cancer less than a month ago and was put on a respirator early this week. When I heard that news I assumed there was still time. We’d go up there this summer and have that long dinner we’d been planning with them. Well we know what happens when you assume. It makes an ass out of me and me. I'm trying to find comfort in the fact that he didn't suffer long but mostly I just feel heartbroken and sad. Sad and sorry. I can't even begin to comprehend what his wife and daughter are going through right now. I love them all so much and it hurts to think of how much they are hurting.

When I was first born my mom got really sick with an infection and had to stay in the hospital. Buzz and Grace took me into their home for my first days of life while my dad juggled his other two daughters and a sick wife. Most of my dreams take place in that house on Sunset Fork, I think just because I was there for so much of my childhood. Holly and I would play and play while my parents and her parents would have these wonderful parties that would spill out into the yard.

Buzzy had this giant record collection and a stereo system that practically blew out the windows (The police were called frequently in response to complaints that someone was blaring Abba at an absurd volume). Those parties are some of my first and happiest memories. They went on for years and years. When we were really little, Holly and I would have our bath then Buzz would give me one of his t-shirts to wear to bed. They'd put a fan on us and we'd fall asleep giggling and listening to the muffled conversations downstairs about art, music, food, wine, life. He had this BIG wild laugh and singing voice. I would feel safe and happy and couldn't wait to have parties like that...friends like that. Now I do and it's everything I ever dreamed it to be, although I now plan to start more spontaneous dance parties in his honor.

Some weekends I would stay over for a couple days (they were right down the street from my home) and Buzzy and I would sit at the kitchen counter while Gracie and Holly baked or cooked something wonderful. He'd tell me about jazz and play a song then get excited because he would remember ANOTHER song I "had to hear". He was the person that taught me to love all music. To hunt it down. To know which song went with which feeling, memory or even which meal. Like a sommelier of tunes.

Last night I was out watching Jason shoot pool and Kodachrome came on the jukebox. I almost turned around to see if Buzzy had played it. It transported me back to that living room. Watching my parents and my Godparents dancing and laughing. Knowing that it would always be that way, even if it wasn't.

The last time I saw him was late this summer after my mom's diagnosis. Jason and I sat in the yard with Buzz and Grace and talked for a few hours. He fixed me a pink lemonade and asked if I wanted a splash of vodka in it. When I said "Of COURSE!" he repeated me a few times and laughed that big Buzzy laugh. We sat in the yard and had the best visit. I walked around the house and peeked into our old play areas and felt the conetenment that always came with being at Davidson's house.

At one point I was telling him a story and gestured a little too grandly with my left arm (as I tend to do) and he mistook it for me reaching out to him and he laughed and grabbed my hand. It was sweet and awkward and has been playing over and over in my head and heart since Monday. Over and over and over like a wonderfully broken record.

I'm trying to pull out some gift from this. It's hard to find among the sorrow, but I think all these vivid sense memories I have of those times are the gifts of a lifetime. Jason knows exactly what I mean when I'll say "This wine tastes like Davidson's house" or "Holly and I did a lip synch of this old song for Buzzy's birthday" or "Saffron makes me wish I was at Shadow Lake swimming with Holly".

Smells, sounds, tastes, all about enjoying life...enjoying each other. Seems very simple but also imperative to a happy heart. Enjoy it all. Dance a lot, eat delicious foods, drink your favorite wine, go to sleep with the voices of your friends ringing in your ears. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy each other. Thanks for all the music and laughs, Buzz. I miss you already.