Monday, June 12, 2017


They, whoever "they" might be, say that when someone dies a person is idealized at some point; where all their flaws and problems disappear and are replaced by a shining angelic memory bearing no resemblance to the person in question who died.

Himself of course was a shining angelic human being. Unfortunately. He had his faults and yet peculiarly enough, his faults meshed perfectly with my faults. Where I was sometimes ruthlessly rational, he was philosophically esoteric. Where he was ruthlessly rational, I was artistic. He made the coffee. I cleaned up the coffee grounds he left on the counter just to torment me, day in and day out. On our wedding day he left the toilet seat up. I've yet to forgive him this. Where I was messy, he was tidy. Where he was clever, I was stupid. Where I was clever, he was more clever unfortunately. I've yet to forgive him this also. Where he was a detailed and tidy artist, I did dots. He hated my dot paintings. I've yet to forgive him for this… also. He would also call everyday from work to discuss absolutely nothing at all. This drove me nuts. I miss that call; the call about nothing that was really about everything. It was everything.

But that man could run circles around any man I've ever known in terms of intellect, compassion, wisdom and humour. I include in that my father who was remarkable in so many respects. Yet George had a gift for understanding the human condition unrivaled. He was curious and gifted in that curiosity. It was not the sad trappings and mechanics of this world that humanity has deluded itself into thinking matter; but matters of philosophy, spirit, emotion and the stuff of life. He could not take an engine apart and put it back together. But he could spy out the essential being of anyone. And he did it with infinite patience and without bragging. He would drive anyone insane with his questions. They would roll their eyes and look at me as if to say, what is wrong with this man? Why is he asking questions to which the answer is obvious and known to everyone? And I would just smile because I knew that if they only answered and listened they would come out of the conversation a far far better person than they were before. The thing is of course, they wouldn't know that unless they took the time. And unaccustomed, if not afraid, of the slow patient search for meaning in conversation, many could not.

Himself was an unassuming man. He was awkward at times. Shy. You would have hardly noticed him in a crowd, at a party. He would let the people do their bravado, their ego thing, their vanity and pride and machismo stuff. He would simply watch. And they had no idea how much he was learning; how much he saw what they tried to hide; how much of the why he understood. His insight was second to none. He was a meek man in a good way, in the way that makes a man great. Not just good but great. I knew so many who had no idea; but I knew it. And I was a lucky woman. He had no illusions about the things he was not good at and was humbled by those who knew what he did not know. He was wise enough to know his own limits without apology. He was a man who turned the other cheek. He had no vengeance, no anger, no bone to pick. He lived an honest and kind life. He forgave where I never would.

Oh, he never made much money. We were always scraping here and there. If only money were given to the good in people; we would have been wealthy. And we were, in the ways that give a person peace in this world. The wealth of love, the quiet of untroubled rest at night, the certainty of knowing we could handle whatever happened next together. I'm not in the least religious but I'm reminded of that quote, "For what does it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" If I had it in me, I would create a religion called George. But of course, he would be mortified by that idea. Humble men are like that.

And so am I creating a shining angelic memory? No. You would know that if you knew him. I did.

Rest easy my love. You have earned the right not to return.

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