Achtung Baby

Someone said to me recently that they had noticed I was blogging, so they thought I must be fine if I was finding time to write.  I think it is only then I realized that the instinct to blog (at least for me) is a cry for help.  (Don’t worry, it’s been heard.  I am very, very, very helped.  My friends rally round me with love, warmth, and respect.  They bolster my self-confidence, and we carry each other other.)

Paul and I have been going through a rough patch – sorry, Paul, if you didn’t want people to know that.  But you know what, it’s natural.  There are ups and downs in a relationship.  The trick is to ride them.  But he has been such a support to me just recently.  The election results really knocked me off my axis.   As I began to recover, and get spurred for action, I got really sick – and I have been sick for 3 weeks.  Just when I feel like I might be recovering, wham, something else happens.

A dear friend of mine died today.  Actually, he didn’t.  He died a couple of weeks ago, and I just found out today.  And I’m so sad.  I really loved him and I just didn’t tell him enough.  He was an odd man.  I’ve known him for decades.  I met him diving in the Maldives.  He was a tall, bald, lovable, funny goofball. His name was Chas.


He used to come to my hut to wake me up to go diving early in the morning (at my request – no alarm clocks on the island).  He would shout “Achtung Baby” outside my door!  We took this photo together:


Chas’ wife had died of cancer several years earlier.  He was a bit of loner, and looking for friendship.  We have been friends for 22 years.  Eventually, he met and married someone else.  Completely coincidentally, her name is Evie.  (I have wanted the name Evie for a daughter, ever since I saw The House of Elliott in college.)

“His” Evie emailed me today.  And I can’t stop crying.  And I did know he was sick.  I just am overwrought with the guilt of not having been there more.  Last time I asked him if he was doing okay, he told me wasn’t feeling great.  I should have known… I should have said more…

And of course I know it isn’t my fault, and of course there is no such thing as “should”.  But I can’t help wishing I had been there more in those final weeks.  I just thought he would be ok.  Or I thought we had longer….

And Paul came home with armfuls of flowers for me.  And I am thankful for him.   And we have each other right now.  And sometimes all it takes is to be present.  And I love him.



2 thoughts on “Achtung Baby

  1. I’m sorry to hear of your losses and have been reading your posts and thinking of you… sometimes I think I am *too* present. No past, no present, no future. Just living in today and trying to get through. Too sad to think of the past, to scared to look too far into the future. There needs to be balance, no? xoxo

    • Yes, you are absolutely right. For you, it would be good to have an eye for the future or a dream, I think. You poor thing Peggy. I don’t know how you have the strength to go through what you are going through. I’m considering having a little pity party at my house on Saturday night, with a few other friends. Would you consider coming

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