Sunday, January 01, 2006

In Memoriam

This has been a tough week, beginning with the death of a good friend’s husband, and ending with his funeral. There are a lot of reasons to grieve here, starting with the simple fact that Walt was a really, really good man - Ren Faire costumer and performer and Klingon extraordinaire, and that just in his off hours - and ending with the selfish regret that he never had chance to convince me that Attack of the Clones actually was a decent movie. Plus there’s the fact that he and Barbara had been married only two years. Even the priest who officiated at the funeral acknowledged that this wasn’t fair.

Barbara did him proud at the wake. She brought in photos, hundreds of photos: Walter at various faires; Walter in Klingon garb; the two of them at their wedding, in beautiful formal wear and red clown noses; Walter as a Klingon grinch; the pair of them in Walter’s trademark Hawaiian shirts. She also brought in some of his costumes, and the prizes he’d won, and the acknowledgements from all the faires and conventions and groups he’d worked with. They filled the room, and so did his friends. The funeral was standing room only, which was as it should be.

Walter died waiting for a liver transplant. There are no guarantees, of course, but you can't help wondering. I’ve known at least two other people who had a liver transplant, and they’re both fine now. There just has to be a liver available. And there’s a shortage around here. At one point, they were even thinking of taking Walt to Florida where his odds might be better, but he got sicker, and that was no longer an option.

So I got out my wallet yesterday and made sure my driver’s license said “organ donor.” I told Lisa for the umpteenth time that if anything happened to me, make sure the hospital took any usable parts. And, since I’m not in a huge hurry to donate the irreplaceable bits, I went to the Red Cross site and found the next blood drive in the area. I figure it’s something.


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