Evonne’s dad died yesterday morning.
We knew it was close Saturday night, and he was still there part of the time most of the night, albeit not particularly verbal. So we all got to sit with him and say goodbye to him and hope and trust that the eye blinks and hand squeezes meant what they meant.
I told him I loved him. I told him how lucky, how blessed I felt that I’d gotten to know him, even if it was only for a decade or so. I told him I couldn’t believe how he’d welcomed me into his family. I told him he’d given away his daughter to the right guy. I told him that for all the things I’d remember him for, that I admired him for, the way he died would be at the top of the list. That when I told people about the last year, I wasn’t going to be able to help being joyful in the telling, because there was so much joy in it.
Carlos was born in Bogota, Colombia, and he and his wife’s family have been so close they’re almost family since the nineteenth century. He and Myriam were the first two offspring of those families to marry, and some of the first members of both families to emigrate to the US in the sixties and seventies.
Carlos fell in love with Myriam when he was like five. In fact, their moms were pregnant together, and shared a duplex at the time. That’s how long they were together: always.
I set up a record on TCM tonight because they’re showing British Invasion movies. They’re starting with the obvious, A Hard Day’s Night, and then showing a concert movie and then two Dave Clark Five movies and two Herman’s Hermits movies. (Did you even know the other British Invasion bands made wacky Hey We’re a Band comedies, too? They did!)
I’m recording them all. To be honest, I was thinking of it as a Get My Head Back Into 666ties thing – it’s not like I’m likely to watch all of two Dave Clark Five and two Herman’s Hermits movies, ever. I mentioned it to Evonne, though, because she’s never seen A Hard Day’s Night, and she was really into it. Especially the Dave Clark Five movies, Having a Wild Weekend and Get Yourself a College Girl. (Which I think is actually more like a Beach Party kinda movie with the Dave Clark Five in it, but whatever.)
Evonne wants to watch them because her dad loved those bands, that was his favorite music when he was a kid. He called us a month or so ago, all excited because there was Dave Clark Five documentary on cable, we had to switch over and watch it with him.
So I guess we’ll watch swinging, silly rock ‘n’ roll lad hijinks tonight for Carlos.
I told him I wished I’d learned more Spanish, faster, too. There were a few moments near the end where he forgot I was dumb like that. He always remembered and apologized. I wish he hadn’t had to do that.
But it didn’t matter, really, in the end. He could squeeze my hand.
I heard last night that Jay Lake, also in hospice care for cancer, also died yesterday morning. My thoughts and best wishes to those close to him, and his daughter especially. This sucks, no matter how long you have to prepare for it.