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Today would have been his 75th birthday

This is my first blog post here.  I was going to write on my own blog -- I'm a pet blogger -- but I think this is a safer place, for now.

My late non-husband (we were not married, but were together 30 years lol) would have been 75 today.  He was born on the exact same day as Ringo Starr, and had the same energy and young looks.  We were 20 years apart in age, and now I have the opportunity to catch up to him, I guess.

I just got back from running to the Dunkin' Donuts for some iced coffee; and visiting his grave at the cemetery.  To see his birthdate there, on the headstone, and realize that he didn't make it to 75 really bugs me.  We would have had a huge party for him, like we did for his 70th (and boy, am I grateful we did that 5 years ago!).  Instead, we had a huge party all right.... his memorial celebration back in May, not even two months ago. So, instead of a wedding (we tried, but he died faster than we could make it happen); instead of a 75th b-day party; we had a memorial party instead. It was a huge extravaganza, and if I had a nickel for everyone who came up to me during the party and said, "Wow, this is just like a wedding."  My heart broke into a million-and-one pieces each time that was said.  Like, hello, people did you not realize???  Apparently not.

His Facebook page still exists, and many people have already written on it today with birthday wishes, most of them followed by an RIP or something like that.  I find it creepy that people write on a dead guy's wall.  But then, there are the people who "didn't get the memo" that he is dead!!  "Happy birthday, and here's to many more."  Ouch!  Really??  How did ya not get the memo!!?

This past weekend, 4th of July, the Grateful Dead played three sold-out shows in Chicago, my home town (but I live in Massachusetts now).  I was a Deadhead back in the days BEFORE I met my guy.  We were both fans, however.  Well, somehow, I didn't hear about these shows until yesterday, when they were all over and done with.  50 years of The Dead, and me being a huge Deadhead, like I said before.  I saw them many times, back in the day, with Jerry.  I even had a picture of Jerry on my wall at work for many years after he passed.  Well, I have been dreading today (my guy's birthday); and last night, I purchased all three Dead shows on On Demand.  I watched the first two hours before going to bed last night, and I'm going to cue it up and have it playing all day today.  I took the day off from work -- can't stand the thought of seeing anyone today.  Anyway, playing the concert last night really made me feel good.  I put on a sun dress and danced around the living room, just like the old days.  I have come full-circle.  My DeadHead days were before I met him.  While we both remained "fans" forever, now, here I am again, grooving to the Dead.  It's a weird circle-of-life thing I never thought would be a connect-the-dots thing.  But there it is.  To top it off, if I had known about the shows, I would have had a free place (many of them) to stay in Chi-town, and of course free airfare since I'm a travel agent.  It just goes to show you, everything happens for a reason.  I still don't know what those reasons are, for most things!

The sun is coming out.  I'm home spending the day with my dogs and cats, in our home, the home he loved.

If you read this whole thing, thank you so much for listening, and for your support.  

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Comment by k2k9 on July 14, 2015 at 6:43am

cosmicinnj:  I sobbed during Attics of My Life, and then that montage they did at the end with Black Muddy River as the background, oh I was sobbing.

And for whoever mentioned grass/weed/drugs -- I was never one who liked weed or hallucinogenics.  I honestly just went for the music and good times!

I think Dave Matthews Band is a lot like the GD in terms of their sound and the lengthy jam sessions :)

Comment by NoLongerInBergenJC on July 10, 2015 at 3:02am

@cosmic:  I didn't get what you got from Dead shows, but I do understand that feeling of "Yes.  I am home now" when hearing music.  Believe it or not, I got it the first time I heard, of all things, the Dave Matthews Band, back in 1993 when nothing had sounded quite like that before -- near the beginning when the band's sound was fresh and new and hadn't been repeated over dozens of albums.  I get it when listening to 1920s jazz, but that has to do with a whole past-life thing that I won't go into here.  

The one Dead show where I really "got" it was one at what was then Byrne Arena in the Meadowlands, where Weir let the crowd sing "Uncle John's Band".  Just the crowd.  And damn it if the crowd didn't do it -- harmonies and all.  With no coordination.  THAT was great.

These days I listen to Pandora a lot and have discovered a lot of other bands I like.  I love Railroad Earth and other "neo-bluegrass" bands...the kind that take influence from the Dead and the Allman Bros. Band rather than from guys who sing through their noses.  ;-)

My husband partook of the ganja every day of his adult life except when he was on chemo because he was in a dose-dense trial and was not allowed to.  He also, we found out during that time, had moyamoya disease, which is a progressive narrowing of the internal carotid arteries to the brain which causes strokes.  It usually manifests in children but he was asymptomatic -- or so we thought, though now I think he was having mini-strokes for at least a decade -- until age 58 when he was being treated for bladder cancer.  I have since read that while cannabis is a vasoconstrictor while you're smoking it, it is a vasodilator afterward...so it is entirely possible that the cannabis kept him alive and free of major strokes until he had to stop.

Comment by cosmicinnj on July 9, 2015 at 5:55pm

Bergen JC my dad also listened to the "big bands" and so do I, along with so much more of a variety of music, but the DEAD is my all the time band. When we brought our Nissan Quest in 2006, I knew I wanted a Quest, white, with black and gray pinstripes and leather seats, but that was all I cared about, nothing more. I told Damian to go out with our son and surprise me as long as those details of the car were met. When we went to pick up the van, he had sideboards added, a sun roof and wind deflector so it didn't look like a soccer mom's vehicle. When we got in he wanted me to drive it home. He turned on the radio and said this is for you baby...it was a lifetime subscription of Sirius :D ! You have no idea how many times I walked into the house and told him it was one of the best gifts he ever gave me because of the variety of music especially the DEAD channel that was always on. TBH, Margarethaville being the next channel down, was a benefit also. Its funny how this string has "dots" of our lives so much more than our devastating loss. Thanks for sharing, I feel like i've found a new family that understands how I'm feeling and what i'm gong thorough without having to excuse myself or apologize for it. Also, I think we all took a break during drums/space thats what it was created for. There was so much more to the Dead than drugs if you were suppose to be there. I always felt that way but it was proven at the end of Sunday nights show when Bob Weir was asked what was going on in his mind and he said, He wasn't thinking, he was watching the movie created by the songs, that happened to me also and it wasn't drug induced either. Also being raised as a catholic, I used to feel good after going to church, well I used to feel as good if not better at a show, no I didn't believe Jerry was God, but I did feel a cleansing and very spiritual nature to the shows. Personally I smoked pot, but never got into anything else, not my cup of "T" either, In fact, I still like a good sativa or indica myself. I think thats what has kept me healthy all these years.

Comment by NoLongerInBergenJC on July 9, 2015 at 4:00pm

My husband was a Deadhead too.  I used to joke that he was about the Dead the way his father was about Glenn Miller...and that always drove him nuts, that his father would insist vociferously that there has been NO MUSIC SINCE GLENN MILLER that was anywhere near as good.

I went with him to a number of Dead shows, only about two of which were really good, because this was around 1984 when Jerry was already starting to go downhill somewhat.  I liked the songs, but I was never into drugs so perhaps I just didn't "get" the noodling and the drum solos, or as Steve used to call them, "time to go take a piss."

And yet here I am, 2 years after Steve died, and what do I listen to in the car most days?  The Grateful Dead station on Sirius XM.  I think it makes me feel closer to Steve.  Somewhere in the great beyond he's either smiling or pissed me, thinking "NOW she gets into the Dead???"

Comment by cosmicinnj on July 9, 2015 at 2:16pm

BTW, Bill  Kreutzmann was talking about adding an east coast tour, maybe we'll be able to meet and get together then, probably only to find out we've meet before in some other place and time :D 

Comment by cosmicinnj on July 9, 2015 at 2:08pm

Hi K2K9, Glad you got to watch the shows. Although Sunday nights was bitter sweet to hear "Attics of My Life" for an encore, it was wonderful. It was one of the first songs I heard when I got back from Ca. after Damian passed that I actually had to pull over because I was so overwhelmed with disbelief and grief.  Actually from beginning to end it was just what I/we needed. I too, put on the surround sound and danced by myself in the living room with his pictures watching over me. The following day, July 6th was my/our 5 month mark on this difficult journey. Our daughter, who was daddy's girl and with him when he passed, was undecided whether she should go or not, although she already had a ticket for Friday nights show, I told her to follow her heart. Well, she decided to go and I think she did a lot of healing while on her "walk about". Since it was a familiar place for "us" I asked him to watch over her Friday night because he already had a seat sitting on her shoulder and being in her heart. She sat out of Saturday nights show and got in Sunday with her Friday nights ticket. Before she went, she again told me how sad she was that we weren't there and I told her we'd be there again as we were on Friday. I purchased Sundays show on PPV and went to the alter that I set up when I got home from Ca., one white for Damian and one to Saint Jude along with pictures of Damian and white roses that I change every Sunday. I asked him to protect her and get her into the show. She said we both guided her to the majick gate. We texted thorough out the show and maybe it was what we both needed to help us make it through this time of our journey. She has a better understanding of who we are/were as her parents. She understands the long talks her dad had with her about being a good person and protecting her heart through literature they were handing out at the show. She now understands what made us different from others and why and how we sustained a unbroken chain of love. I thought Damian came through that night simply because I knew the first three songs like China/Rider instead of China/Terripan into Estimated, but the entire show was filled with messages that only we, him and I shared together. I'm hoping the love, the healing and the lessons she received remains with her. We so desperately needed it at this time on OUR journey to peace, understanding and serenity.... Many Blessings sent to you and thanks for listening :D     

Comment by Hosmer on July 8, 2015 at 11:05am

New to this site and loved your post.  My hubby has been gone a little over 2 years.  Saturday would have been his 81st birthday!  He was 17 years older than me and we were together for 30 years.  The anniversaries of whatever - birthday, anniversary, first date, etc - are still so hard. My 15 year old kitty is the only pet I still have from our "family" and I dread losing her.  

Glad to have stumbled on this site.  Right time, right place I guess.  Yesterday I googled "I hate being a widow" and this site came up.  Looks like just what I need. 

Anyway, blessings and comfort to you all.  

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