I just got back from my weekend in Durham. It wasn't fun by myself but, then, it's never really fun when I have company either. I keep thinking about how much shorter the trip is than I remember and it just makes me mad at myself that I didn't visit Mike more. My constant excuse was that I didn't want to stress him out because whenever he had company, it took him away from his work. It was the same reason I only called him once in a while or waited for him to call me. I did the majority of my communication with him the last few years by email because he could answer at his convenience. But now, knowing what we all know, I'd give anything to be able to go visit him again, deadlines be damned. Marvel could wait an extra week for their pages. Hell, comics never come out on time anymore anyway.
As I told Todd Dezago today when he called to check on me (Thanks, Todd!), I had a strange experience this morning. I had trouble getting out of bed because I was so tired from having to plane about a quarter-inch off a door I was replacing and about a hundred other things I'd been working on. Finally, I dragged into the kitchen to make some much-needed coffee when I looked out the kitchen window. In Mike's backyard was a beautiful fawn. I couldn't believe it. It wasn't 15 feet away. As it wandered around the yard, nibbling grass here and there, I followed it from window to window. When we both got back to where we'd started, it was joined by an adult doe that had come from around the corner in the direction of the driveway. While I stood there, disbelieving, a third deer, another fawn, came out of the woods and joined the others. The three deer stood for a moment, looking around and then went off into the woods together. I remember thinking to myself, "I wish Mike was here to see this", when, at the edge of the yard, the deer I'd noticed first stopped and looked back over its shoulder, right at me. Then it was gone. I'm secure enough in my masculinity that I don't mind confessing that I broke down crying right there. I've mentioned before that I'm not religious in the conventional sense. I don't believe in a "God" or "gods". But I am a spiritual person and I believe that there is something, whatever that may be, that is bigger than us, be it fate or karma or...just plain old Mother Nature. (If I knew what I believed, I'd probably be attending a church of some kind.) And I think I witnessed something like that today.
Anyway, enough of that. When I got back I read some more of your replies to my last post and I noticed something interesting. While my post was about people you admire professionally, since I mis-named my post "Personal Heroes", a lot of you thought I meant just that and listed people you just plain admire. There were some very cool responses. So, I thought I'd add to my list the people I look up to in all aspects of my life.
Mom— She raised two young boys virtually by herself while Dad was in the Army, with barely any help from anyone in the family and no driver's lisence or car. She's one tough lady but she's also the sweetest person I've ever known.
Suzanne—I've always known she was special. (I married her, didn't I?) But if you could see the way she took charge in Durham when we needed her most and when I was just about useless... Suzanne is always thinking of others first and is first in line when others need help. She shares my love of animals, (Mike and I both got that from our parents, Renee.) and football and likes comics. If she watched horror movies, she'd be just about perfect.
Christopher and Dana Reeve—He never, ever gave up. He lost everything and still kept a positive attitude even though he must have been in hell. He really was Superman. She stood by him through better or worse, mostly worse, when probably nobody would have blamed her for giving up. She face adversity and her own approaching death with dignity and poise , all while trying to help others. We can all only hope to have a tenth of the integrity of either one of them.
I'm going to stop this here, lest this become an Oscar Awards thank-you speech. Next time, I'll try to have something a little more fun.