Leighton Hamilton Playing the Blues

An old beau of mine has been on my mind a lot lately. Maybe because this is the fifth anniversary of his death at the young age of 56. Or maybe as I myself grow older, nostalgia kicks in. Anyway, he spent his last years back in his hometown of Dalton, Georgia, and Tuesday nights were spent in front of the mike at The Blues Train Cafe. Here are some photos from that period.

To Herbert on Father’s Day

I was adopted at birth and never had a father. At least not a birth father that I knew. But I did have a father figure. A friend of my mother, Thelma. His name was Herbert Grannis. He was around as long as I can remember. He read the Sunday comics to me until I was able to read them for myself. He did so many other things for me that I never got to thank him for. So I’ll do that now. Thank you, Uncle Herb … For having the patience to indulge a four-year old by reading the Sunday comics to her every Sunday morning when I am sure you’d rather have dived into the sports section to check baseball scores. For sitting patiently as you held me in your lap while I plucked hairs off your arm. It was this weird “thing” I did and I have no idea why. For putting together my Barbie Dream House (it would be worth a small fortune today) and all the cardboard Danish Modern furniture that came with it so my dolls would have a place to park their plastic asses. For attempting (that’s the operative word here) to teach …

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A Quote For Roberto

“You’ll get over it…” It’s the clichés that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life forever. You don’t get over it because ‘it” is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never loses. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?” ~ Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)

One True Love

Someone asked me a question the other day that kind of pissed me off and certainly offended me. She asked me when I was going to start “dating.” Dating? Good grief. The answer is a resounding NEVER. Why? I’ll tell you why. I spent the better part of my adult life chasing after men whose only flaw, as it would turn out, was that they were NOT Roberto. My mother said you only ever have one true love in life. I firmly believe Roberto was that one true love. He certainly was my soul mate. Over the past 30 years, Robert has always been there for me. He “got me” the way no one else ever has or ever will. He was my intellectual equal, we shared the same twisted sense of humor, we loved the same things. Most importantly, we traveled well together. (How many couples can truly say THAT?!) Simply put, there isn’t a man out there who can hold a candle to Robert so why bother looking? I’ve known unconditional love, selfless love. And I have memories of that and those, my friends, those memories, are all I need. So sorry, guys out there, breathe a sigh …

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Four and Counting….

It’s been almost four months since Robert’s been gone. And I really don’t feel any better about it. I seem to be suffering some kind of delayed grief reaction. By this I mean that I seem to be crying more lately than I did in the beginning, and that may be due to all the myriad things that were going on at that time. Now, I have time to sit and actually think about things and feel them, the way I wasn’t able to back in December. At first, I could fool myself and pretend he was just in the hospital, where he’d spent so much of the time these past few years — and especially in 2011. But that didn’t work for long. Because even in the hospital, we had daily calls and almost daily visits. I’d generally head up to the hospital after work each night or spend most of the weekend up there, dragging my laptop and snacks with me. And of course there are reminders of him everywhere I go. He was my life. Every grocery store, every drive I take anywhere, TV shows, all my routines, were all tied up in Robert. And even though …

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Something just hit me today as I was angrily storming from the bathroom to my bedroom, in a hurry to get dressed for work. I was in danger of being late (again) because at the last minute, Robert needed care that meant I had to drop everything I was doing. The thing that hit me was that I have forgotten how to be in love. I love Robert, don’t get me wrong. He’s been in my life since I was 22. But the time seems to have long since past that I feel in love. I suppose this happens to everyone in a long-term relationship, doesn’t it? The thing that caused me to even think of it was that I’d written an email to a friend who had recently fallen in love. I told this friend to “remember what it feels like to be in love. It can hit you like a sack of rocks and take your breath away.” And it dawned on me today that I haven’t felt that way for a very long time. And maybe I should. Perhaps it will give me a new perspective on things.