Monday, March 03, 2008

The good and the bad

The past couple of weeks of my life has had a couple of majors highs and lows. First, the bad news: my 55-year-old aunt died two Sundays ago. It was shocking for us because Vickie was always very healthy. She had caught some super straing of pneumonia a few weeks earlier and had been hospitalized since then. The sickness finally shut her body down and she passed away.

Vickie was an absolutely wonderful woman and her death impacted me more than I realized it would. I felt so bad for my cousin Shannon, who is my age, and her older son; Nic, the younger son, and Delone, her husband and my mother's brother. Every time at the funeral home or cemetery he would try to shake my hand I would reach up and give him a hug. I couldn't imagine losing the woman I'd been married to for nearly 36 years, practically Delone's entire adult life. What's it like to go home to an empty house after you bury your wife? I shudder at the thought, and so hugged him every chance I got. Like Vickie, Delone is such a nice person.

Vickie went above and beyond to help decorate our wedding, making all of the corsages and boutinerres, ordering the ferns, and decorating the reception area. It was a debt I could never repay, but I thanked her as much as I could and can only hope she knew what that meant to me.

Rest in peace, Vickie. We know you are in a better place.

The good news is that Amy and I recently celebrated our six month anniversary, with many, many good months ahead. The former Ms. Harper is truly the light of my life. I often think back to my lonely days before meeting her, specifically there is one image I can't erase from my head. It was the summer of 2005 and I was alone in Vegas. This is before I had met any bloggers or poker writers or guys like Stephen Ladowski. I would soon meet Ted, but not at that point. No, I was completely alone in Vegas and sitting at a video poker machine at the Plaza. And as I played the machine, a quarter at a time, I watched a happy young couple at the craps table. They appeared to be winning as they were all smiles, but you could also tell they very much enjoyed each other's company. I'm not sure I ever felt more alone, just as now I've never been happier.

Here's to you, Amy, for making me so happy!

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