Our neighbour Don passed away in the wee hours of Friday night. Sure, he was pushing 90 years old, and his body was riddled with cancer (among other health issues), but it doesn’t make it suck any less.
We moved into this house four years ago, and our neighbours adopted us – as older couples whose own kids live far away will do when a younger family moves onto the street. We went back and forth, they made a fuss over the kids, they’d watch our cat while we were on holidays, I’d always clear their lane of snow every winter… and then we’d have play fights over whether or not they should pay me for doing the work (I always won, because of course they should never pay me for that. I love being outside in the winter, so they’re doing me a favour). Months ago, Don gave me a bottle of whiskey. His chemo wouldn’t allow him to drink it, and he wanted me to have it. I haven’t opened it, and I doubt I will. Well, maybe some day.
Anyway, it’s a tough time for the family and the neighbourhood, even though we all knew it was coming. It was a long, slow decline for him, hard to watch. And it’s only adding to my own little reorganization here. You’ve maybe noticed I haven’t posted much in the last little while. A wee bit ago, I’d texted James to say I was thinking of taking the summer off from blogging. I was running out of steam. I’d just started that All The Everything series and it is (admittedly) very daunting. You’d just have to see the Man Cave’s contents to think I was nuts for even starting. James’ perfect response was “meh, just post when you want.” Good advice, as it is what he does in these pages.
I turn 43 years old in a couple of weeks (I am quickly coming to the end of my year of being the answer to life, the Universe and everything), and I was reflecting back on having done this blog for nigh on eleven years. It’s a labour of love and fun and great tunes and experiences and the building up of an awesome community and it’s cool. But for now I’ll read all your posts (likely at the weekends over coffee, mostly). I’ll rest for a bit, focus elsewhere… jam tunes for the sake of pleasure, not for how I’ll write about them. Chase the kids (and my lovely wife), do some work on the house, create, breathe… I’ve done this before, and I know I’ve said hiatuses are for chumps (they are), but here I am.
R.I.P. Don. The last few months were a true struggle of pain and worry, but hopefully now he can have some peace. And I’ll still be here, moreso as a Reader, for now. Some day, surely, I’ll be filling these pages with gibbering once again. Until then, see you in the Comments.