One year later: 12 Things I would tell him

Today is exactly a year since Howard died.

It’s hard to believe.   He loomed so large in my life, I still find it hard to imagine the world without him in it. As my husband V says of my former husband, Howard left a huge hole.

I’ve tried to fill some of that with words and pictures on my blog.  And I’m writing this today since I want him to be remembered.

Nothing was more central to Howard than his sense of humor, so I know he’d take this in good fun.

I like to think he’s there, and listening.

So Howard,  here’s a few things you’d want to know about the past year.

1.  I miss you so much more than I thought I would.

2.  Since that last week of your life in the hospital, no one in the family has watched Fox News.    (And Obama won, even without your vote.)

3. You know how you always wanted to stay in Los Angeles (which you did), and I always wanted to raise the kids someplace else (which I did).  Well, the joke was on me—they’re both living in southern California.

4. Though they lived with me, both of our kids are like you—really organized and frugal with money.  I have no idea how that happened.

5.  Your beloved Cubs extended their losing streak with their worst season since 1966.  Maybe you can put in a good word for them.

6.  Sometimes I feel like a widow…although I’m happily married to someone else.

7.  Even without your patronage, Costco has managed to stay in business.

8. Things happen all the time that only you would fully appreciate; and I constantly wish I could call you.  For some strange reason, my phone still speed-dials you on its own;  and I don’t have the heart to delete your name.

9.   Your kids, family and friends talk about you all the time with love, smiles and funny stories—just how you’d want to be remembered.

10.  The chocolate telegram you saved for 35 years is safe in my freezer.  I promise to keep it for the next 35 years.

11. Despite your nagging advice,  I still haven’t cleared out our garage enough to fit my car in it.   But I’ve started channeling you—I’ve become obsessive about keeping the car clean.  Today I got a carwash in your honor.

12.  I often wonder if we all told you enough how much you were loved.  I hope you know.


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  1. says

    As always, Darryle, you nailed it. Such a heart-filled and witty remembrance. It makes me wish I had known Howard. Oh, and of course, it reveals yet another thing you and I have in common….I’m totally disorganized and have a very dirty car. Sending big hugs and so much appreciation your way.

  2. says

    Oh, this is a beautiful post. Truly. I can feel Howard as a person as you have drawn a lovely picture. Thank you so much for sharing your pain, your memories and your love.


    I am so sorry for your feeling that hole that can’t be measured or explained. The holes in our hearts are like the deep end of the pool. You have to know when you are in over your head and come back to the shallow end where your own two feet can support you. Sometimes we need help, a flotation device or some assistance. But we can’t live in the pool. It is just for a visit.

  4. Priscilla says

    What a wonderful tribute, Darryle. I feel very lucky to have spent time with you and Howard back in the day. I’m sure he did know how much he was loved, and your post is a reminder that we can never tell those close to us too many times that we love them.

  5. says

    Wendi, how sweet. You definitely would have enjoyed knowing Howard. And why am I not surprised that you’re disorganized with a dirty car? Of course the new me has a clean car, but I’m maybe more disorganized than ever. xxxoo

  6. says

    Thanks so much, Nancy. What you say means a lot because that’s exactly what I’ve tried to do—draw a picture of Howard via words so even if you didn’t know him, he would be remembered.

  7. says

    Absolutely right; you can never say “I love you” too often. Maybe that’s why my family always complains that I repeat myself. Howard and I both had wonderful memories of times with you and your family; he always had a special place in his heart for you and I know you did for him.

  8. says

    I can’t believe it’s been a year, either. Not surprised to hear you think of him often, he considered you guys family and I know you did, too. I think he’d love knowing how sweetly people think of him and remember him; he was such a softie at heart. Thanks, Beth.

  9. says

    Thanks so much, Denise. Actually it made me think about whether love is successful or just lucky; and truly I’m not so sure, maybe a little of both. Mostly I think love is complicated. :)

  10. says

    I had no idea he passed so close to my late husband’s birthday, which is today. Celebrations of the strangest kind to some, but so normal for us, I suppose, to celebrate the losses as a celebration of the life lived. My fiance and I took a beautiful hike in the open space here in honor of the day. Perfect. And peaceful.

    It is so wonderful your life was blessed with this relationship and the next. Apples and oranges, I think, but such a delicious fruit salad, love and life.

  11. says

    I had no idea the dates were so close, either. What a beautiful way for you to honor the day. I guess some might think it’s strange to celebrate even the losses but I know you understand; and love your fruit salad reference—what a perfect way to think of life and love. So sweet of you to comment; and I’m so happy that you’ve found love and happiness again. All the best.

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