A couple of weeks ago, I gave away some of Don's music things - a VOX amp, (like the one The Beatles used, which I know because my husband told me that ALL THE TIME) an equalizer, sound mixer, and more - to a close family friend who is both a sound engineer/ editor, and musician / drummer. I have always given away things that belonged to Don - based on whenever it felt right to me. Right person, right time. Lots of things I have kept, and will keep forever, because they belong with me and nobody else. Like the guitar that I bought him for Christmas one year, that he cherished so much. Or his recliner chair that he napped in and had kitty cats sleeping in his lap on, and that we referred to as his "Archie Bunker chair." All of that, and more, stays with me. But other things, I donated or gave to friends - but always with meaning.
Like giving his Air Force duffle bag and jacket to his friend and EMS partner, as she embarked on her own Air Force path. Or surprising one of the guys on the guitar message boards Don used to hang out in, by shipping one of Don's guitars to him for Christmas - just after he had lost his own in a house fire. Or personally delivering, with his tennis buddy, about 15 of his tennis rackets, to the Boys Tennis Club at the Harlem Youth Center. Or my favorite one so far - shipping his Playstation and over 50 games - to the Air Force Base where one of his close friends was still residing, so he could put it in their game room and share it with the other soldiers.
So a bit ago, in year 5 of this madness, after these items had sat in my apartment and then my parents basement for years, it was the right time - right person. Our friend Ronnie so appreciated the special thing that it is, to receive these gifts. And he just happens to be re-doing his music studio, so the timing was perfect. Watching him look through all the goodies made me so happy. He said: "This is like Christmas!" And when he squeeled: "This is a VOX speaker - like the one The Beatles used to play with!!!!", I knew immediately I had done the right thing. He and Don shared a love and passion for music. They shared many conversations and jam sessions together, in the short time they knew each other, through me. "This is so great,", Ron said while looking at his new man-toys, "because I can use all this stuff. But it's even more great, because these were Don's. Now I'll think of him whenever I play music in my studio. And anyone who plays music with me, will hear about who he was and what a special person he was."
And that is how we keep them alive forever. That is how traces of my beautiful husband, appear everywhere in my life, always. Because I make sure of it.
When you share their love forward, those we love, who have died, come closer. And suddenly, they don't feel so far away anymore.