Michael Johnson Mancinelli
Good-Bye Jeffrey

Good-bye The Lion

0000deveau_ff_copy I am so fragile tonight and I'd like to say I don't know why, but I do. Sometimes we have enough layers pulled off that we become defenseless to the outside world but more importantly defenseless to ourselves.

I've been doing my usual blog surfing and aside from one new site David B. Dancy I'm visiting the same places I go every day; I'm just a little more susceptible to the human condition today.

So here are the people who made me cry today; Mr. Dancy, Cielo, and Father Luke. CG made me smile and remember who I was at fifteen and Cielo reminded me of who my mother is today. NoMans about broke my heart walking around like the living wounded, and Amy being back made me ridiculously happy; it was like an early Christmas present from the Chanukah Queen.

But what's really got me is that The Lion died yesterday at 4:18 PM. The Lion has been dying for twenty freaking months! His dying has left my father an unbearable wreck as he cannot disassociate himself from the man he might as well have been married to for the last 37 years; they were that close.

When my father wrote last week that The Lion was on his way out again, I didn't go. I think my brother might have but I did not. I justified not going by telling myself and anyone else who would listen, that I spent most of the summer of '06 sitting in ICU nights and weekends knitting while The Lion did not die. I saw The Lion at Jim's funeral and he knew me and kissed me and it was good. I decided I had already said enough good-byes and didn't need to go back. I told myself it was not about supporting my Dad despite the fact that Jack made that gently, but very clear. I didn't have the emotional bandwidth to cope and I let my dad down. I could hear it in his voice today.

So I'm just sad. I am sad that The Lion is gone. Despite his failings, he was a formidable figure, and I loved him and he loved me. He was larger than life for nearly all of my life. His name was Vic Deveau and he was my daddy's best friend from 1970 until yesterday at 4:18 when my dad sat at his bed at hospice and finally let him go. And he deserves to have his name said out loud.

The Lion was a pivotal part of my upbringing. I have written these things and therefore cannot bring myself to write them again so I'm finally going to migrate the posts from the last blog to this so that they can be cataloged together.

That's him up there, circa 1960 something or other. He was some kind of beautiful. They called him The Silver Fox. I call him The Lion and I call him Uncle Vic and I hurt so bad I can't see straight. Guess I better just let myself have that.

I am thankful for those of you who made me cry or remember myself today. It broke the walls down so that I could feel.

p.s. Father Luke 'yes ma'am'd' me. I'm having trouble reconciling the fit of giggles with the tears. I guess that's OK. Thanks, Father Luke. OK, bye.