Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ed

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

16 comments:

  1. There are times when words of sympathy seem futile. I've lost so many friends and relatives during recent years that I've almost become indifferent to my hidden emotions. I've learned to suppress the pain. Fortunately, the good memories remain and that is what always sustains me.
    A very nice tribute, Ron.

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    1. Jon,
      I'm going to do a future blog post and just list the names of my friends who are gone. I'm amazed that I am still here whereas so many of them, many of them younger than me, are now gone. I would never have believed this when I was young and just starting out in life. I am thankful that I have led such a full and happy life and have made as many friends as I have and continue to do so. I truly am one of the fortunate few. And you are so right about the memories. So many good ones. Most of which I will probably tell about in future blog posts. Maybe after I'm long gone, someone will read about those memories and know that this one person, me, won life's lottery.
      Ron

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  2. Ron,
    Much as we would like, time doesn't stand still. I realize that time might be the only true constant in this world, there are twenty four 60 minute hours in each day and that doesn't change. As we age it seems as if it goes faster and even races as we hit our twilight years. I am sorry that you are facing the loss of another good friend. It can be depressing but your upbeat outlook seems to keep you on an even keel. I have been looking up old friends that I had back in the day and was appalled that so many have died. When I moved from the Philly area I left many good friends behind and with time we just lost touch for one reason or another. Out of the four that I have located, only one is still alive. Depressing, yes but I also realize that death does not regard age. I can only consider myself lucky that I am relatively healthy although my body sometimes reminds me that I am definitely not young anymore.
    I am so glad that you and Pat had a wonderful time in Los Angeles. Hopefully the next trip will be as good if not better. You have a year to catch your breath and start again.
    Jack

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    1. Jack,
      Like you, many of my Philly friends I have lost touch with and have no idea what happened to them. For those whose last names I knew I can look up in the Social Security Death Index to see if they have passed on. Unfortunately so many I didn't know their last names or if I did they had common names like "Bob Christopher" (a real person).
      Even though I have lost many friends from my former life, I am so thankful to have made new friends for this, my final phase of my life. Pat has been a true Godsend. We are so alike and share so much. And Bill continues to be the rock in my life. I can't even imagine what my life will be like without him. In some ways I hope I pass before he does. In the meantime, we treasure each day we are privileged to live on this earth in relatively good health.
      And yes, more trips are in the future for me and my Canadian friend. I'm already making plans.
      Ron

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  3. I am truly sorry for your loss. Your pictures of places I used to be reminds me of those folks who are no longer there. They were happy times. though and I will keep those memories.

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    1. Jono,
      I don't live in the past and I relish the future (except for the possibility that I will have a slow and painful decline) but I do treasure my memories. If I had it to do all over again I would exactly the same way except for perhaps the bad decision I made on selling my house (smile). My life's journey is about to come to an end but what a journey.
      Ron

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  4. A lifetime of good friends and good memories. Take care and cherish you memories. Enjoy each day, there is no guarantee on tomorrow.

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    1. David,
      Every day counts, don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today. All trite cliches but so true.
      Ron

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  5. Ron,
    I fear the days that are coming for me. I do not have a Bill, or anyone else. So I will probably go alone. To see the reminiscences of years past, however, meant a lot to me. I have no pictures of my earliest friends and loves (or lovers). Your posts reassure me that perhaps I might be actually able to find "the one". Lord knows that if I'd known Ed back then, I'd jumped on that! He's handsome as hell, and I can deal with CHEAP!

    But I get the point of this post. Get out there! Grab the brass ring! Go for it! Don't wait! Thank you for that!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,
      You know what the irony here is? Ed would have liked you! Yep, his weakness was big, masculine guys. He would have been all over you too! I remember the first time I introduced him to my friend Bob McC (aka "Big Bob") back in the early Sixties. They both left me apartment after I introduced them "just as friends." Many years later Bob told me they both ended up in the cemetery for a "quickie." I couldn't believe it, that fast? Ed had his "stable" (always big and masculine and usually married guys) over the years but was always a loner, which is the way he preferred to live his life. Even now I found out yesterday that "Charlie", his former carpenter and handyman (Ed owned three houses, one of which he rented) was looking after him. So Ed isn't alone after all.
      We all choose our life's path and I have to say Ed lived a full life just the way he wanted it. However, it does saddened me to see him suffer like he is now. Hopefully the pain medications will ease his transition.
      We all have our End. You can bet when my times comes I won't have any regrets. If I went tomorrow, I will be a happy many.In the meantime, I am living life to it's fullest.
      Ron

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  6. Ron, words can appear trite, but I do know that no matter how many losses one experiences, each new one still knocks out the stuffing from one. I hope you can derive some consolation in knowing that Ed, as he approached the end, reminisced likewise on the happy times of his own life including being in your presence. There's no reason to think otherwise.
    Like Jay above, I'll also be saying goodbye to no one, making my final journey unmissed by anyone here 'in the flesh'. I know how much you appreciate how lucky you've been in your own friends - and I know you will hold onto that realisation. I know that Ed is only one of a number who has good reason to have had loving thoughts of you, so thank you for making his life (among others) a little happier.

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    1. Ray,
      Even though I knew Ed has been ill for sometime now, he was such a part of my life since my high school days, hearing about his final days still does come as a shock to me. I remember the last time I saw Ed. He, Pat and I went to dinner at Ed's favorite Italian restaurant, the one where the owner occasionally breaks out into an operatic aria as she sets a plate of steaming spaghetti before you. First time that happened she scared the crap out of me. Ed loved it. He always got a kick out of my complaining about the unnecessariness of having free "opera" during my meal. When I invited Ed to go out to dinner I suspected he hadn't been for some time and even though I wasn't a fan of the operatic outbursts I suggested Villa Sorrento for our dinner. This was also the first time he met Pat, who I knew he would like (as Pat liked Ed). After dinner, as we were standing outside the restaurant, Ed said sort of under his breath "This was nice." That was an unusual statement for Ed because he wasn't one for compliments. I thought at the time that he knew that was probably the last time he would be at his favorite restaurant and as it turned out, it was. I'm glad that we have that memory.
      Ron

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    2. I hope the gratis vocal bon-bons were from one of his favourite operas, Ron.

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    3. Ray,
      She is actually quite good but I wasn't expecting that vocal outburst as she leaned over with her pendulous breasts to lay my plate in front of me. Darn near scared me off my chair.
      Ron

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  7. You and Ed are lucky to have shared so much. Old friendships (and new ones!) make life interesting, fun, and worth the trip.

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    1. Walt,
      You are right Ed and I are so very fortunate to have shared so much. And I am so fortunate in that I have made new friendships and creating new memories. Life is interesting and well worth the trip, even with the sadness that has now sometimes seemed overwhelming as I see old friendships ending.
      Ron

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