Very busy day today. Woke up super sore from yesterday’s run; body is telling me to take a break. Picked up D and took some soup to a sick friend. I waited until I had D to take the soup over; I want him to see that it’s nice to have friends, and to do things for them, and that nice friends also do things for you sometimes. This is one of the parenting things I have to give him. I can’t give him a college education, so I give him stuff like this.
He also helped me cook today. “I love cooking!” he said, even though that isn’t really true; he’s the most impatient, imprecise sous chef I’ve ever had, ha. But I helped him to measure out dry ingredients for some pumpkin-raisin muffins I made, and he remembered me roasting and freezing the pumpkin last fall, so it’s going into the brain in some fashion. I did a lot of cooking today so we’d have things that are easy to reheat for the week ahead.
At dinner, we talked about Martin Luther King, Jr. I asked what they had talked about with regards to Dr. King at school, and he told me a little they covered, and things his Dad covered as well. For five years old, he seemed to have a pretty decent grasp, describing “white fountains” and “black fountains.” I asked how he would feel if he had tried to take his preschool friend to an ice cream shop but they wouldn’t let his friend in, or would make him sit in another part of the store. “That’s stupid,” he said. It’s so clear to little kids, isn’t it? He also piped up, without me mentioning it, that King was shot, and that that was also stupid, and I agreed. He wanted to know why the guy shot him and I said he was crazy, and who knows what he was thinking, there was no good reason. He said maybe he was afraid of black people, and I said maybe, a lot of people were back then, and some still are today, and D said that was dumb, and again, I agreed. He said the guy who shot MLK was “King of the Stupid Dumbs,” and I heartily backed that up. “No, Mom,” he continued, very seriously, “He’s really, actually stupid.” I loved his vehemence about it. That’s my boy.
The afternoon and evening have been overshadowed by a cloud. I know D feels that vibe off me and I try not to let him see, but he sees it on me as sure as I can read auras on people; call it what you will, that’s how we roll. I was in the middle of cooking dinner and he came in and said Mom, I feel sad and I don’t know why. I asked if he missed his Dad and he said yes, but that wasn’t really why he was sad. I said a friend of mine, Sam, has been very sick for some time and isn’t doing very well, he’s in the hospital. “Is he going to die?” he asked. I answered that I didn’t know, but it wasn’t looking good. That was all we said about it, but it’s run as an undercurrent throughout the day. Not looking good, yeah.
I don’t think I’ll ever see Sam again. And that’s terribly sad. But I am trying to fill this evening with my thoughts of him, sending he and his wife good vibes across the country as best I can, and truly being inspired and amazed by what an incredible human being Sam is, and how very lucky I have been to have known him now these – wow, more than 15 years. I treasure the memories I have of our communications and in-person visits, but also, as an amateur rock and roll scholar, stand in awe at his amazing contributions to the face of rock and roll.
Everyone knows Janis, but very few know Sam. Or Dave or Peter, who I’m sure are having a very difficult time with this whole thing, such great guys. With my proclivities for guitarists and obsessive love of all things classic rock, I knew who Sam was way before I met him, but the in-person experience to having a conversation with this amazingly intelligent and really, really great guy with a big heart and amazing mind is way beyond what you’d imagine. And sharing a stage with him? Looking over and seeing him play while you sing? It’s up there. It’s way up there. What a man. And what a life.
He’s touched so very many. I am glad to have even the tiniest puzzle piece in the mosaic that he has brought us, his music and lyrics painting the landscape for my adulthood along with many of his peers. And I hold him and those who care for him in my thoughts, tonight more than ever.