For A Gentleman
A few years ago, I wrote an entry for our dear friend, Mister Phil, who had just been diagnosed with cancer. And I asked everyone to leave comments wishing him well, and almost 300 people were kind enough to send him their best. And slowly, he got better, beat his cancer, and we were all thankful that he'd made it through.
Very recently, though, the cancer came back. And Phil went through chemo and radiation, and all of those awful things you do when you have cancer. Up until the end of September, it looked like he'd beaten it again. But unfortunately, the cancer kept spreading, and even though he fought hard, it just kept getting worse. So, three weeks ago, Phil decided he'd had enough of that, thank you, and went home to spend his remaining time with his family and friends, so he could say good bye to everyone on his own terms, like the true gentleman he always was.
Phil died at home last week. He left behind his beautiful wife, my Aunt Rie (who STILL turns bright red when I talk about anything remotely scandalous, but loves me anyway) and two wonderful sons, who are like my brothers, only without the spitting and pinching. He was my Daddy's best friend, a surrogate father to my sister and me, and a dear, kind friend to pretty much everyone we knew.
Phil's funeral was Monday, and my father gave a beautiful eulogy, where he talked about Phil's many talents and their various Manly adventures. Then my parents held a wake immediately afterward at their house. And let me tell you right now that if you die, you would like for my parents to hold your wake, because turns out, regardless of the situation, these are people who can throw a party. Seriously, both the police AND the fire department came. To...the wake. In peace-keeping capacity. Because, we are a people who say good bye in style. And our style is apparently both "loud" and "with a tendency to create a teensy traffic problem, as well as major fire hazards."
But, so. We got to say good bye. But Mister Phil loved my website and read it often (by which I mean three times a year, when I actually...update it; LISTEN, I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW, and I really AM trying here, but clearly, things have been a bit sad and busy lately)(See paragraphs 1 - this one.) But, given that, and given that so many of y'all know Mister Phil, either in person or just through years of my own rambling, I couldn't come back here and write about my silly little adventures without first paying tribute to a wonderful gentleman with such a kind soul, who loved his people, and who left all of us much too early.
I'm glad I had a Mister Phil in my life. I'm glad the Sasquatch Senator got to meet him, and that we were lucky enough to be there when he took his last boat ride in August, back when we didn't know that he wouldn't be getting better. I'm glad he left all of us with so many happy memories, and I'm glad that he got to say goodbye to the people he loved. But even though I'm glad for all of that, I'm still sad as hell that he's gone.
I'm sorry that this entry isn't funny or light and is...totally a bummer, actually, but it was important to me. And not to worry; I've got a few happy entries ready to post (or..."happy," in a manner of relatively speaking. They involve my Adventures, which included bodily fluids that were not my own, in a city where I was nearly killed repeatedly, but we'll get into that shortly), and I also have a ton of pictures of my adorable Senator-Who-Still-Doesn't-Have-A-Name, and I'll post all of these in the next few days. But it just seemed more appropriate to do this first, and to honor someone I've loved and admired for most of my life.
So, I'll be back in the next few days with tales of the debauchery that is my daily existence. But in the meantime, if you get a chance, please say a quick prayer or think a kind thought for Mister Phil and his family. The world was a gentler place while he was here.
And, good bye, Mister Phil. I hope your heaven is filled with mountain streams, starry nights, and brown liquor. We will always remember you.