Yesterday would have been my niece's 45th birthday, but she is, instead, forever 19. I can't say much beyond that, because it's too painful to think about how much I miss her and how much she has missed. It was also the fourth anniversary of the passing of the man who was like a father to me. He was a creative genius, talented and theatrical and with a memory like a computer. I once called him from North Wales to settle a question about Hollywood. My house is filled with oil paintings he created and presents he picked out for many Christmases. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of him.
Today is the second anniversary of the passing of one of my very closest friends. He was 72, which, once upon a time, I thought was a ripe old age. I don't any more. I wanted him around until he was at least a hundred. While I was home taking care of my children and bored out of my mind while they were at school, Jim was the voice on the other end of the phone almost every day. He encouraged me to write, and this blog started as a belated tribute to him. He turned to me for advice and made me feel like the Goddess of Wisdom. He made me laugh. Sometimes he made me want to slug him. I never understood his fascination with all things Irish, but it was just part of who he was. He cared passionately about politics and justice. He had a PhD from Notre Dame and the impishness of a five year old. He is completely irreplaceable and my heart aches with the missing of him.
So this week is tough. Not only is summer over (except for the weather) but my boys are both back at college and it's just Himself and Myself rattling around the empty house. Luckily I still adore him after 23 years of marriage, and he seems to still think I'm OK, too. That's good. Because this week I need to come home to a hug and a cup of tea and a sympathetic ear. He doesn't ask a question. He just knows. Bless him.