With Whatever Love for Life that Is Left to Me, I Will Seek …

Found in my e-mail, this was part of a collection of things Patrick sent me called “You Never Know.” This segment is dated 19 April 2006.

My first impulse when Stephanie died was to dump everything – after 29 years together, the accumulated baggage was overwhelming. Not only physical objects – the house was full of papers, clothing, furniture – but memories, in the form of thousands of photos and such simple things as the arrangement of towels on the rack.

One month after she was buried, after showering I still lowered the head of the shower to the height she preferred. Having a punctured eardrum she could not immerse her head. When swimming she had to use a silicon ear plug.

Out went her clothes in the first frenzy of cleaning, then certain superfluous articles of furniture, then all her books on health and alternative medicine. With her brother, the family heirlooms of interest to him or his daughter were packed to send to Cincinnati. And so on, seemingly forever.

At first, after immense grief, I felt resentment, then anger. Guilt, a sense of betrayal, regret that I had not said certain words to her brought me down again and again.

Finally, on the way to Rome it occurred to me that now, at the age of 71, I could do all those things not possible before because of our mutual devotion, our pacts of cohabitation, the responsibilities to house, festival, animals and garden, as well as, the last years, the limitations imposed by her health.

But now as an act of self-preservation, perhaps I have overcome these feelings, and with whatever love for life that is left to me, whatever resilience and strength remains, I will seek love, adventure, and hopefully meaningful work.

One Reply to “With Whatever Love for Life that Is Left to Me, I Will Seek …”

  1. Thanks for sharing, John.

    I have enjoyed reading his musings(?): his thoughts about life…where he’s been or hopes to go, how he got there and oftentimes why; the recommendations to one or all of his children (usually an idea he’s had, an author he’s read, an old or possibly a new friend he’d like to (re)connect with with which perhaps JP can help?)); the anticipatory inevitability he (and we all face); his sometimes subtle alludings to what he may have done differently, tho without requests for forgiveness “something he’s not good at”; the passion he had for classical music and the desire to, and eventually did, become an “artist of any kind”; his love for Stephanie, etc.

    The time that you, John, have invested in making it possible through this website, ensures that his legacy will live on. And, it has allowed those who did not know him well, and even those who did, to understand him a little better, and perhaps appreciate, if we care to, the life of a man who some may say, pleasingly or otherwise, defied expectations…to live his life on his own terms.

    There is no doubt that you loved and admired him greatly, and that is most important!

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