|Happy Ed - only a few years ago|
This morning I called Joe B. in Boston. Joe is a mutual friend of my longtime friend Ed C. Joe told me that Ed is dying. He said "Ed has liver cancer. It could be three days or three weeks. Ed has liver cancer and they sent him home from the hospital to hospice care."
I called Ed at his home in Pennsylvania and a woman with a Spanish accent answered. I immediately assumed he was in hospice care. Her answering the phone at Ed's home confirmed my worst suspicions, that Ed was never going back to work.
Ed and I are the same age (73). I met Ed in high school sometime around 1956. Ed was and is gay but that wasn't why we met. We had mutual friends and Ed's parents had a swimming pool. Ed was the adopted son of two wealthy parents. His father was the president of a local savings and loan and his mother a music teacher.
|Ed, me and Ron H. (died 2005) at my birthday party November 1964 at Bill's apartment in Pennsauken, New Jersey|
I always knew Ed was gay because he had the typical gay mannerisms. Didn't matter though, everyone liked Ed because he was funny and had that swimming pool, which he freely let his poorer classmates use. While I was never physically attracted to Ed (nor he to me) we became fast friends as I often did in my younger days with other gay men my age. We hung around a lot.
Ed also had a car. A VW Beetle which, again, he freely transported his poorer classmates (like me) around in.
Ed was with me at the Westbury Bar in Philadelphia when Bill Kelly (my partner and husband of the past fifty years) sent that first drink over to me. In fact Ed, and another friend of ours Ron H. (who died in 2005) was also with me when we mocked Bill that he thought I could be had for a drink.
|Happier, carefree times - me, Bob Mc., Jim D. and Ed C. - 1987 - we were all going to live forever|
Over the years Ed has met my friends and I his. There were times when we had disagreements (Ed was very cheap) and lost contact for a while but we always got back together. We understood each other plus Ed was funny.
|Ed and my late friend Bob Mc. - 1987 at Ed's home in PA|
The one sticking point over the years with Ed was his miserliness. Ed was cheap. Not that anyone wanted his money but he was cheap. The stories we could tell. In fact, even this morning talking to his friend Joe B. we were exchanging more "cheap" Ed stories. But we agreed "that was Ed" and we loved him all the same.
|Ed with his longtime boyfriend "Jay" at Ed's place on Laurel Street in Rehoboth Beach - Jay died four years ago|
The last time I saw Ed was this past summer when Pat and I went out to dinner with Ed. Of course Pat liked Ed right away. I think everyone liked Ed upon a first meeting.
|Ed and Pat in front of Villa Sorrento- Lewes, Delaware this past summer|
This morning I was going to write a blog about my trip to California. One of the reasons I took a trip to California (cost be damned) was that so many of my long time friends have died or are in poor health. As I have mentioned more than a few times in this blog, my time is coming. I do not want to go down that path regretting that I didn't do something that I always wanted to do. Folks, the trip and time I spent in California last week was a dream come true. When my time comes I will go with the wonderful memories that were created on that trip. But for now I am thinking of all the wonderful memories that I have of my friendship with Ed.
|Ed with me and Wayne ("The Cajun") a few years ago at Rigby's in Rehoboth Beach, DE|
None of us is perfect, least of all me. But for all his perceived faults (my be at least), Ed was part of my life and he will be missed. Yet another piece of my life is gone.
Not to make this about me but these are sad times folks. I'm slipping into a bit of melancholy. I'm glad I'm going to work today. Maybe that will take my mind off of these sad times.
|Ed and me at Lori's Cafe in Rehoboth about 2006 - time goes by so fast|