This day started like any other; coffee on the deck, and talking about what we wanted to do today. It went downhill quickly after the text from my girlfriend, telling me her husband passed away. He just entered Hospice care yesterday. This morning he is gone. I’m glad it was quick for his wife, my friend since high school.
What can you say about Lenny? He was a crazy man, he bragged about his Navy days, and days of he glory days of youth. He was a liver transplant survivor for about 10 years, I think. To say he lived life to the fullest may be an understatement. He loved rock and roll, the louder the better. He loved going to Bily McGuigan shows, Yesterday and Today in particular. He was an audience favorite and quite a few of his requests were played. One time, he requested “Nowhere Man,” and Ryan McGuigan had Lenny sing along for a few bars of it. That was a highlight of his life. Thank you, Ryan, from Lenny. Somewhere I do have a video of it, I’ll have to search for it.
My friend Kris has joined a club I dread becoming part of, yet there’s a 50% chance of it. Unless something awful happens, women in my family have longevity. The Babe suffers from ischemic heart disease, courtesy of Agent Orange in Vietnam. He has survived longer than we thought possible. And there are no guarantees. Our friend Lora just lost her husband this spring, and now another friend lost hers. We need to circle the wagons and help her as much as we can. And their kids will too, along with their adult grandkids.
Our other friend, Mary, lost her husband five years ago. She admits it was a hard time, yet she has found love again. So proud of her for being brave enough to try! She is engaged and working on downsizing stuff. It’s a challenge for sure.
In one week, we’ve gone from great excitement at getting together for a reunion to recognizing once again how fragile life really is. Kris seemed good today, but it was crazy busy at her house when I stopped by with paper products to use for all the food people always donate when death comes home. I know she’s in a bit of a state of shock right now; she’s been very good at doing whatever it took to help take care of him. She went above and beyond many times. He told us more than once he owes his life to Kris. And he meant it.
The VFW Post will be much quieter during Honor Guard steak raffles from now on. Lenny often voiced his displeasure at losing the raffles. He shared his moves with a touch down dance when he won. They became more elaborate with each win. He still puzzled over the “floss” dance. If you never saw it, it’s hard to say just what you missed. Nothing comparable may ever pass this way again.
The world will miss Lenny. We’ll miss his generosity. You couldn’t find a better donor to the Auxiliary Bake Sales or Ice Cream Socials. His last act of generosity took place this morning, a few hours after he passed. He gave me $100 cash last week to get food for Moving Veterans Forward to use for their Foster Care Visit Program. I ordered online to compare prices, etc. It all arrived yesterday, and I dropped it off to MVF warehouse this morning. Thank you, Lenny. The kids got some good groceries, thanks to you! I told Kris how fitting the delivery took place just as Lenny might have been talking to St. Peter. Could you imagine that sight? I’m sure it helped him enter heaven.
Hug your people. Value life. Live it. Don’t keep anything back for someday. Today is the day. Each and every day are special. Make memories. Don’t wait for later. Do it now. See you tomorrow.