Saturday was the Texas Hold'Em benefit for Leonard. My father, myself, my brother in law and our dearest friends, Patty and Luke, drove out together. When we arrived I found that my cousin (Leonard's cousin, but I call his cousins mine...my family is small) Rob was there and also Leonard's childhood friend Al, and Jerry, one of my husband's favorite coworker/friends from years back. Also there, that I knew, were a former golf partner (and good friend) and about 4 guys from his work, and 6 from his golf league. The rest of the group were die hard poker players I guess. I had thought it was put together by a friend of his from work, but it was put together by a man who had coordinated several of the tournaments that Leonard had gone to over the years. He was so stunned and saddened, that he wanted to do something... so he did this. It brought me to tears that this man I really did not know at all had done this for my husband. Again, his impact greater than he ever would have believed. I spent the first 15 minutes outside, trying to collect my thoughts and banish the tears for the evening.
My family members/friends are not card sharks...they're not even minnows...or perhaps they are because they were eaten...er beaten...by the real sharks within 45 minutes. But I think they had fun...only I kept waiting for my husband to walk through the door.
I handed out a bracelet to each person there, telling them the story behind it, and I was so happy to see each person putting one on. (Laurie I got your email and will send you one, Rachel, I think I have your other email address still, or email me your address and I will send one out, Shari, I didn't get your email :( so if you send an email with your address, I will zip it right out to you). I have gotten a lot of peace, handing them out. It helps me to think that he won't be forgotten. I still worry so much, that he will be forgotten. We were home by 11:30, so it wasn't too tiring and I got a chance to speak with everyone there...and learned so many more stories of my husband, the golfer, the poker player , the coworker, and the friend. It was a good, if more than bittersweet time... I again found myself aching for his smile, the sight of him...sitting at the table, cards in hand. But that will never be.
Saturday was a day that I had looked forward to since July...since before... A couple of friends (one all the way from England who has been a dear and much loved friend for years) that I had met on a message board I participated on, came for a visit. It was so good to see them. It was so good to forget about the reality of my situation for hours and take a visit down to Detroit. To show them what is still good and beautiful about this often trashed (and sometimes with good reason) city. I took them for a ride on what passes for "public transportation" in this city that could use a subway system. It is called the "people mover" and it basically moves people (I bet you wouldn't have guessed that) from various parking lots to various places (read: casinos) to spend their money. We stopped in Greektown and had a delicious lunch...and I was able to talk to two people, that I have cared about through word, in actual real time. I could hug them, and look into their faces, and know that they cared. We also took a drive (on the way down to Detroit) along Jefferson Avenue-from the starting point (by my house)through where the fabulously wealthy (and/or amazingly stupid with their money) live. Down past where the Fords, and the Dodge brothers used to play. And the we hit Alter. Alter is the dividing street between the haves and the have less than nots. There used to be an actual wall along Alter Drive....so that the rich would not have to realize that they lived right next door to the poor. It is really very sad.
After a wonderful afternoon we came back to the house for coffee and tea, and again my girlfriend Patty and her husband came over to meet my guests. Patty participates on the same board. It was a wonderful evening.
This morning I woke up with an amazing amount of pain in my jaw and found that I had yet another infection...and I lost it. My husband, sweet and caring, always there Leonard, was the one who babied me through these things, held my hand, asked the questions, and stayed by my side until I was well. And I am honest and selfish and all those horrific things when I realized I don't want to go through these things with out him. I think I can't take the thought of him not here through this round of antibiotics and steroids and whatever else. It is here where I hate the fates that brought us to this. It is here that I want to give up most. And so I stare a little bit harder at my son as I put him to bed, and I go and take the meds that will hopefully make me better...even though a little part of me doesn't want to, if it weren't for them.
I had booked a suite for us for this weekend at the Great Wolf Lodge (a hotel with a spectacular water park) outside of Sandusky and I am hoping that my face feels better by then.
Reading back on this entry, It was a good weekend. Not great, for he is not here, but not full of the despair that was all of September's weekends. I long for him so much it just doesn't feel humanly possible to miss the physical presence of someone so much that it feels as if a limb has been severed.