May is the Death Month in my family. My first boyfriend/fiancee died today, 14 years ago. My uncle Herb died suddenly a few years ago on May 17th and my father in 1999 on May 18th. I don't know what the attraction is dying in May . . . . my poor mother, whose birthday is on May 19th and shared it with her brother, Herb, lives in constant fear when May comes that someone will die that month or right before her birthday. For whatever reason, we have spent at least two of her birthdays either in a funeral parlor picking out a coffin or preparing to attend a funeral.
I don't sit around on the anniversary of a death dwelling on the death. The first anniversary is hard but after that the anniversary of a precious loss moves out of the marrow of my bones and nudges me gently. To do the retrospection bit? I don't know. I can't help but think about Mickey Schulz, my first serious relationship and the man I wanted to marry . . . for a time. I used to joke that his name sounded like that of a gangster. He was anything but, of course, and he died tragically far too young. He was a good man; restless and too smart for his own good it seemed. I had the sense to know that marrying him would be a mistake no matter how strong the love. He never did accept my realization as being something that saved us pain down the road and we drifted apart, occasionally being in touch. I missed him for a long, long time but I have no doubt I made the right decision.
My first big crush was a guy in high school named Dino DiOssi. I thought it was such a cool name and I loved Italian-looking guys. He never knew I was a alive, of course. A grade ahead of me and travelling in a totally different social circle. I met two other people named Dino DiOssi in later years; one living in New York City with whom I became friends and another a legal assistant living in the midwest.
I don't suppose it's a good thing to lump love and crushes into a post about May The Death Month. This time back in 1999 I was working for a Broadway producer and sorry I ever took the job. It was a side of the business I would have rather not known. I readily left my position to be with my dying father. They were not sympathetic to my plight watching a parent die of cancer so I basically told Mr. Broadway Producer what he could do with a very large and pointy statue in his office. It was ugly besides. I think "sticking" an ugly statue that's also very big where the sun don't shine would be painful. I certainly hope so.
On May 17, 1999, the day before he died, I was sitting with my father who was in a hospital bed in our living room. I held his hand and talked with him. I reminded him that Mom's birthday was in two days.
That was a not so subtle hint not to die on her birthday, yes.
My father, a gentleman in many ways and not one to get hints, managed to get this one and would not die on my mother's birthday.
He would let go in another 12-24 hours.