Remembering an Extraordinary Person

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

While most will acknowledge March 17 as St. Patrick’s Day and wear green, I will remember three years ago on this day that Eileen Cadman, my partner of a mere 28 months, passed away, so I wear black. I’m not dressed like Johnny Cash, mind you, but for the rest of my life, March 17 will have that special significance to me. I’m not Irish, either, though I plan to head to the pub for a pint in her memory when I finish writing this mini-tribute.

What has transpired in those three years is a bit of a whirlwind, as nearly all the good things that have happened to me over that time span have some correlation with that relationship. Very possibly all the things I’m doing might have transpired had she never gotten cancer, though it’s hard to speculate as to whether she and I would still be a couple. However, I’m quite sure that if we’d never met, I’d still be living in Dagenham, waiting for the phone to ring for some fly-by-night comedy gig that would probably be cancelled just days before it’s due to happen, which is sort of what’s been going on in that realm so far this year.

Through knowing her, I got into a co-op in North London, where I first envisioned living some 15 years ago, living with lovely people and paying astronomically low rent. I surely wouldn’t be running pub quizzes, I wouldn’t be doing a weekly DJ spot (actually getting paid to play vinyl records, something I’ve been doing since I was 5), or singing in an a capella choir had I not gotten into this lovely London neighborhood that Eileen lived in for nearly 30 years. Those three activities, as well as moving into the co-op itself, all transpired after she passed away, but they likely would have happened had she remained healthy. Bottom line is, I’m enjoying life, and a lot of what I’m enjoying is due to meeting this person on the 47th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I didn’t know my life was going to change so significantly on November 22, 2010, but it did.

In the months before she died, she said several times that she fully expected I would have other relationships after she’s gone, or as she put it, “I don’t expect you to be a monk after I go.” I haven’t been, but I also haven’t done anything regrettable or stupid. I firmly believe she would approve of the woman I’m with now, as they’re both of similar intelligence and philosophical stance.

I’ve chronicled several times my trials and tribulations on that day three years ago, of a series of gaffes that almost prevented me from being there for her last breaths. I got to her bedside about ten minutes before she entered the great beyond, or said hello to Elvis, or however people like to cryptically say it, and was just happy I made it. I won’t forget seeing her struggling to open her eyes, senses all going to where there there was no further communication, and finally, her brother, the only other one in the room, saying, “I believe that’s it.”

It’s now only an hour or so before the exact 3rd anniversary happens (the actual time of death was 10:12 PM). I still keep memories of her around, and lit a candle in her memory earlier today. The love I had for her was very special, one I’ll never forget, but I’ve also been able to move on and find there’s still love and life left in me. Her legacy remains intact, no matter what happens with me. I’m now headed to the pub, where I’ll toast that legacy.

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