Five years since I felt his last heartbeat. Hard to believe, huh? Sometimes it feels like it was 20 years ago, other times it seems like we were fishing just a couple weeks ago.
Fucking tore me up when he died. And if it wasn’t bad enough that I’d just lost my father and my best friend, all of a sudden I was the Man of the House – had to be strong for everybody else, you know? All within about 15 seconds, too. I’m talking no break-in time whatsoever.
Even worse, I had to be there. I couldn’t just take off and head up to Sonora Pass for a couple days to be by myself and think things out like I usually did when Life threw me a curve. No more running away for you, bro. Time to be a Big Boy.
They say that time heals all wounds. I don’t know about healing but it does soften them. It’s a rare thing when Time is merciful.
It does seem like a lot longer than five years though. I don’t think of him as much as I used to. It’s not an every day five times a day thing any more. At some point you just gotta let it go.
The night he died….. there was a half dozen people in the room with him and he was resting quietly, heavily sedated. The others were gathered together in one part of the bedroom and I was next to him with one hand holding his and the other on his chest. Man, I knew he was that fucking close. You can just tell, yeah?
His heart went from a steady beat to nothing in about 5 seconds flat. It was that quick. And my father and a part of me was dead.
Dying is part of living and that fact of life is something we all eventually learn. The death of a close friend or relative is just not something that we get used to dealing with. It hurts every fucking time. I suppose that’s a good thing but I really can’t imagine how.
About the only time I can think of when I just felt really pissed off at a close friend that died was when Matt got drunk and rolled his truck. Motherfucker owed me 500 bucks, man, and I really needed the money. I’m still pissed about that.
Mom had Pop’s little dog put to sleep last week. That was a hateful, nasty little dog – a 17 year old bitch chihuahua if that tells you anything. It only had about half it’s teeth because somebody was forever smacking the shit out of it for biting. Anyways, she had the little fucker cremated and she’s going to bury the ashes in his grave tomorrow.
Do me a favor. If you have a drink or a beer today, raise one up for Kirk. He’d like that. Somebody needs to do it and it’s gonna be another 9 days before I can afford to.
Here he is shooting some 41 magnum 10 or 15 years back.
Here he is knocking back a beer with Mom.
Here he is with his last salute.