Plenty of ways to say “hi”
I can’t explain all the beautiful and strange ways we are communicating with Owen’s spirit. I can tell you, that we are. I can tell you that Emmitt (my brother, not Owen) and I have experienced the loss of so many loved ones from very early ages, that the subjects of death and dying, were never hidden, never taboo. Mom never prevented us from remembering.
My brother called me this evening, right in the middle of having my car towed. Yes, even cars die. Mine did, on my way home from work, after a day that was fairly easy. But, easy days at work, don’t mean I can’t wait to get home. Home is where I feel Owen the most. Any delay in arriving, is one that causes me great anxiety. I am often reminded that these delays are designed to make me sit still. Sitting still is the time I am forced to accept what is. So, anxious, is what I become.
When I finally got home, after the tow truck dropped my car off at the shop, and after I took a taxi cab home, I called Emmitt back. He said, “Okay, so, are you ready?” I knew immediately that someone else had died. He told me who and how, and we recalled our young lives with Frank James and Michael Dunnagan.
Michael died the day after Dave and I moved with Nat and Owen (plus 8 cats and a dog) from San Diego to Washington, back in 2003. Dunnagan crashed his car into a tree, after a night of playing music in a local club. Frank, who was Michael’s best friend for the years they were involved in theater together, died 11 days ago. How? He crashed his car into a tree, on his way to church.
Neither accident was mysterious, as far as we know. Just accidents of timing and circumstances, as is so often the case.
The bunch of us began our friendships in our teens, and continued close relations through our 20s and early 30s. We heard news of each other in the remaining years through other friends, and infrequently by way of email. As the younger sister of Emmitt’s older crowd, my updates were less frequent.
Emmitt and I talked about the evenings we spent watching Michael and Frank in various plays. ”Waiting for Godot” was the last play I saw Michael and Frank perform together. Emmitt said his favorite line from that play was and still is, “Are we having fun yet?” I thought about all the years this phrase has been part of our everyday parlance. I can most certainly confirm, that right at this moment, we are not having fun.
Lea Kelley and I have had some particularly strange days (oh, “Strange Days” was one of Owen’s favorite Doors songs) since last Friday. The details are too fresh and unbelievable, but given our addiction to recording details, we will share soon. We will share Carla’s photo of Owen called “echo” and we will share Lea’s printer’s impression of that photo. Then, we will share how that printout influenced her painting of “88 Days on Mercury”. When I showed my copies of the original photo, Lea’s printout, and Lea’s painting to my counselor, she said, “There are plenty of ways to say “hi”. I couldn’t agree more. Owen often stops by to say “hi”.
Tonight, Frank stopped by to say “hi” and I feel that he and Michael are sitting on a bench together, no longer “Waiting for Godot” but asking, “Are we having fun yet?” I hope they have gathered Owen into their play, and that they are indeed, having fun. Were the timing different, Owen would have most certainly wanted to hang out with Michael and Frank. They were all unique, adventurous, dramatic, and waiting. They no longer wait. They stop by to say “hi”.
Song for the night: In My Life, Beatles http://youtube.com/watch?v=uKfEnoBJPms