I just got of the line with the Princess Mom, who had some shocking news for me -- one of my dad's colleagues died about two months ago and she had just gotten the news herself.
Why was this a shock for me?
Dick Kelly was just a really neat guy. He respected and admired my dad, both as a business man, and as a man. He told me that at my dad's memorial service. I knew that, though, because he had also demonstrated that for years beforehand.
Okay, that's still not a reason why it was shocking.
Much as Dick admired and respected my dad, he had almost a courtly love thing going for my mom. (Note the use of the word "for," as opposed to "with." It's an important difference.) In fact, he told me more than once that the reason he respected my dad so much was because he had the good sense to marry my mother... and to stay married to her.
After Dad's memorial service, Dick would email to check in with me every once in a while to see how the family was doing. Most of the enquiries, though, had to do with Mom, her health and how she was doing getting along as a widow.
When Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer, emails made way for phone conversations about how Mom was doing. Every setback was met with prayer; every obstacle hurdled was met with jubilation.
That's why I found it strange that when I did the latest Mom update he didn't call or email right away.
I figured that he was busy. I know I was busy. But I've been thinking about him and meaning to give him a call.
Guess that won't be happening now.
The man was only 60 years old.
A real charmer.
Loved Corvettes, especially red convertibles. (The only time my dad ever set foot in a sports car was the time Dick took him for a spin in his brand new 'Vette. He and Daddy were both grinning like fools when they got back.)
A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN.
Wanted to sail crew on a tall ship in the Caribbean.
Felt in his heart that he wasn't a redneck from coal country in West Virginia, but the Son of a Sailor.
We just never seemed to mesh schedules to get together the last couple of times I went to Florida. I know life happens that way, but dammit all to hell, I hate this.
God bless you, Dick. Smooth seas... and boat drinks to you, my friend. I'll miss you.
And V-Man? This is why I worry when my friends fall off my radar. Send an email and let me know you're okay. (Please?)