“Melancholy Man”

The bad part about having a music player on shuffle while getting housework done is sometimes a song hits one right between the eyes. Today’s song was “Melancholy Man” by the Moody Blues from 1970. Today marks nine months since Lucy left this life. I had not heard the song in quite some time, so it added to an already emotional day.

A few days ago, I was at the VA hospital in Minneapolis saying goodbye to an old acquaintance. I met Marty in 1979 when we worked together. He flew helicopters during the Vietnam War and sometimes I could pry a story out of him. Marty didn’t like talking about the war; I found out later that is typical of combat veterans that saw too many of their unit come home in flag covered coffins. He was also a bit of a loner, an only child who never married. Through the years, we would occasionally bump into each other on a contract job or at a restaurant. Towards the end of his life, Marty had ALS and severe dementia. I think he just turned 70 in September. I had heard from a mutual colleague that it was time to say goodbye to him. I’m quite certain Marty didn’t recognize me, and he seemed mostly unaware of his surroundings. I don’t know if that was a blessing or curse for him. Afterwards, I went to Minnehaha Falls, which is really close to the hospital. It was nice getting some fresh air and seeing how wonderful the falls look even though they are completely frozen at this time. Marty died Friday afternoon.

I did squeeze in a quick trip to visit Mom and Dad. By quick, I mean getting there Thursday afternoon and leaving early Friday afternoon due to impending freezing rain. There were a couple of things I wanted to do for them while I still had time. I hadn’t counted on a trip into Sioux Falls to pick up some stuff at Home Depot that the local Ace Hardware didn’t carry.

Julie, Suzy, and Brady came over to visit today. I was very happy having visitors, especially people I love deeply, and who aren’t soliciting donations for a charity. We had lunch at the new (in the past six months) El Loro’s restaurant on 84th and Lyndale. I was surprised at all the different items were on the menu. Lucy wanted to take me to the El Loro’s in Savage, but we never quite got to it. It was very emotional for me when they left, and Julie saw me starting to break down. Poor Julie, I feel bad for doing that to her.

I was lucky that in the past couple days I got to spend time with loved ones. It helped get the new year on the right track and it was very good for the soul.

Let your loved ones know you care. That has helped brighten many a sad day for me, including today. Enjoy some time with someone you want to spend time with, and give that person a meaningful hug if your relationship permits. In the meantime, I have to start separating my songs into playlists so I am not hit hard while driving.

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