Category Archives: sadness

To be missed for a time

Over the weekend, my family bade farewell to my great-Uncle Guy and saw him to his rest.

Uncle Guy was a couple of months shy of 92; he served in reconnaisance during the Second World War, and it sparked a lifetime of interest in photography and nature.  He took up oil painting later in life as well (and he was very good).  Hearing my cousin (his son) speak at the service was fascinating because I got to fill in many of the gaps that a young boy toddling around the feet of his elders couldn’t begin to guess.

When I was born he was already 15 years older than I am now, and was blessed to add many more, surrounded by family.  He and Aunt Corinne were married for over 65 years.  They were a delightful and happy couple, full of life, fond of travel, and generous.  The Church was a great part of their life.

We’re going to miss him terribly.  And it got me thinking about who else in the world a person would miss.  Family and friends, of course, but unless I describe them all you won’t really know them.  The people nowadays that everyone would miss would be the sorts of people whom everybody would know.  Sadly, they show up in celebrity deadpools and such, and folks save the encomuims for later.  But I’d rather not take odds on who of these will be the first of the group to get a handshake from Uncle Guy; rather, this is just something of an appreciation for several folks who have made some small bit of a difference to me. …

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More happiness wishes, and a quick blog note

First the note – I have the Idol recap written, but events have taken precedence.  To wit:

Wednesday’s Happiness Wish is very personal to me.  One of my longest and dearest friends, whom I’ve known since college, suffered the loss of his youngest child over the weekend.  She was born with Trisomy 18, so it wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it still tears one up to hear of it.  So so sad for him and his wife.  They have two older children as well to think of, both of an age to be aware and form lasting memories of this hard time.  My Wednesday wish is for them, for healing and consolation.

For Thursday, my wish is happier.  We have a number of mothers who work in my building, and one was picked up here by her   husband, and her two young daughters came rattling through.  They were sunshine in dresses – happy, curious, friendly.  They borrowed some dry-erase markers from a few people around the office, and when I left they were in one of the conference rooms, doodling on the big board while Mom finished up her tasks.  I wish them happiness.

Today – how can it be anything but the terribly-suffering people of Japan?  The aftershocks from the quake are approaching 7.0 on the Richter Scale, with the main quake last night (our time) hitting 8.9.  The video has been wrenching.  I’m stretching the premise here because happiness is not the proper wish, but I wish them well – I wish their safety and protection and that their loved ones will be found alive and unhurt when it’s over.

All this wishing has had one good tangible effect thus far.  I came into the office this morning and found that the two girls had returned my dry-erase marker.  To be honest, I would probably not have missed it for a while, nor blamed them if in their excitement they left it in the conference room.  That’s what kids often do; their minds fill quickly with the immediate, with the next exciting thing, and they lose what was just past.  It was somehow so dear to find the marker back in its place, and it really made my morning.

More of Happiness Month, and a blog note

First, the note: I added a page to the top menu, right next to “About.”  It handles a few things that I neglected earlier, or weren’t useful to talk about until now.

On to Happiness Month, which suffered a serious blow over the weekend, as I didn’t get around to Friday’s wish until Saturday, and neither of the other wishes happened at all.  That leaves me two wishes in arrears and a third wish for the day.  And I really wanted each wish to have its own unique post, it’s own turn in the sun, if you will.

Since the wishing of happiness is not about me, I will not spend time here being angry with myself for this state of affairs – I note only that I am, in fact, quite angry, and that it helps nobody, and that’s that.  On to wishes:

Saturday’s wish is meant for the family and friends of that poor young man, Wes Leonard, who made the winning shot to complete a 20-0 season for his high school basketball team, but collapsed while being carried off the court in truimph.  He died at aged 16.  That’s just incredibly sad and I hope that his town and his loved ones find solace in the weeks and months to come, remembering him happy and successful, doing what he so loved to do.

Sunday’s wish is for Sheila, who lost a very dear friend last week, too young as is usually the case.  Lately I see a lot of people I know dealing with bad times and the deaths of loved ones, and I know how terrible this always is; how little everything else seems to matter, how small the things we all say in comfort; and yet how much small kindnesses can mean in such times.  Happiness is not the right wish here, so please consider this wish for peace and healing, and for grief to work as it needs to for your lasting benefit.

And since that’s a lot of heaviness – my friends adopted a rescue cat last week.  They probably don’t need the help since pets are living happiness, but I wish them many happy years together with kitteh.

One last Sheen update

an update – via Sheila’s Twitter – there’s a strong likelihood that Sheen is bipolar and that this is a severe manic episode.  The drugs don’t help, of course… but the drug abuse itself may be symptomatic of an underlying mental issue.  To be honest, my first impression was that he’d done this to himself with all his excesses, making him fair game. But if he’s genuinely sick, it’s just not funny, and “beclown” would be a cruel word for his current behavior.  However – I’m letting it stand because it’s my crapulence and I’m going to go ahead and own it.  Revisionism is a fool’s game, and I’d rather not be a liar on top of being a tool: I don’t much like myself sometimes, and it’s only fair that you see why.  I have replaced the “funny” tag with the “sadness” tag, though.

I promise not to become all-Charlie-all-the-time around here, especially since he was our first Wish Happiness entry this month, but I can’t resist a little bragging here…  remember a couple days ago, I asked when Charlie Sheen had become a Middle East dictator?  Used a picture of Qaddafi and everything.

Hey presto – guess what ran on the Guardian website this morning?

The who-said-it-quiz: Charlie Sheen or Muammar Qaddafi.  As always, the main difficulty in humor is the risk that real people will beclown themselves more effectively.

FWIW, I did pretty well:

Clearly I’ve spent way too much time studying Planet Bedlam on the sensors.  Time to break orbit, Mr. Data.

(via Ace of Spades HQ overnight thread)

Splendid chap, you know

A sad farewell to British television actor Nicholas Courtney, who passed at age 81 last night.

The geeks among us will recognize the name.  Courtney was best-known to the sci-fi fan as the actor who protrayed Brigadier General Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart in the long-running Doctor Who program.  He “served” as the head of UNIT opposite five different Doctors:  Patrick Troughton, John Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, and Sylvester McCoy.

The character was often befuddled and sometimes out-of-depth; as he complained in one episode, “For once I’d like to meet an alien menace that wasn’t immune to bullets.”  But he soldiered on in the best traditions of England: dignified, confident, and unbending.  And the man behind the character was not above a joke about the whole phenomenon… I have a special feature on one of the DVDs where he pops up in a skit about the show’s early years, and he served as a narrator on the original VHS tape of “The Invasion,” narrating the two missing segments of the eight-segment adventure.

Tom Baker has a remembrance on his personal site.  I’m sure there will be more to follow.  And on today’s installment of Rich Morris’ Doctor comic, there’s a brief panel with “the Brig” in the background… which, entirely unknown to Morris, echoes the very picture Baker put of the Doctor and the Brig in his small memoir.  Of course – that’s the way things go around the Doctor, as the Brig knew.

Five rounds rapid, barkeep.