Sunday, April 6, 2008

Another loss

A long time ago I canceled my long distance service as Bob started to dial foreign countries. That was then. Now he would not even know how to dial 911.
No need to reinstate the long distance for our friend in San Francisco has left us.
It was a big shock. He was younger than us.
I wrote him a letter on March 5th and it was returned the other day with a notice:
diseased .
I did not believe it. Knowing Allen, I thought OK he packed and went to Palm Springs
which was his aim for when he would retire.
Daughter searched the internet and found his building and started to call people.
She soon found out that he had passed away alone in his apartment late Feb.
She also found out the number of his daughter.

I had known this guy since I met Bob in 1967. He was a character and always could make me laugh with his repertoire of jokes and life anecdotes.
He had several careers in his life. When one became boring he switched, money was not
his aim, he just wanted to do something different.
I admired him the most for 8 years he gave of himself in a hospice with aids patients.
At a time they were dying every day , Allen was witness to this and tried his best to be
a part of what he could do for their last days.
So he hired a bus and took some of the guys to gamble one more time in Tahoe.
Or he would get a cab and take them to a movie. He did not care if they needed oxygen with them
or went in their robes. He still took them where they wanted to go.
He had a giving nature without limits.
At my shop he once bought 27 gifts for the women in the office.
His first thought when we went somewhere together was to buy jewelry for his
daughter. After that it was for his friends. I did not dare look at anything more than
once or he would buy it for me.
He brought Bob a huge gold ring with a diamond in it and to this day knowing Allen'
I have no idea if it is a CZ or a diamond and it does not matter at all.
Bob lost it in his early stages and when I found it again I put it away, I knew he would not want that ring lost. He still wears a watch Allen gave him and he forgets to set it but it is
a showy piece and he wears it on top of his sleeves so people can see his fancy
He asked us to go to Torremolinos with him for a month. I told him it was not in my budget.
Can we plan for next year. We used to travel there with Grand Circle and it was a bargain
arrangement but that year out of my reach. I did not even think about it anymore until Grand Circle called me and said Mr. W. had made arrangements for all 3 of us to be in Spain next
He had not told us and I was absolutely in shock. I have a hard time taking gifts and that
one was bitter sweet. How could we repay him ????Bob promised him a watercolor and that is all he wanted. We had a ball. We took a tour to Marocco and I think he purchased every thing each kid was offering him. He had a very soft spot for children in need. He had been there.
He was not a wealthy man in fact he was still working full time and overtime at his job in a hospital and he was 73. He was a born caregiver and generous to a fault.
He went into a bar and saw this gorgeous embroidered Chinese opera shawl hanging on the wall,he told me that he knew he had to have it to give to me. He asked the man what he wanted for the shawl , the man thought about it and said : your leather jacket!
Allen took of his jacket and walked home with the shawl. I have it on display but now I am
thinking of packing it up and put in a box, how dumb is that?
I think he would want me to show it off.

Old Bob met him in San Francisco and together with another friend they rented a flat.
Allen complained about all the operas Bob would play and the horrible soup he made.
All 3 were cut ups and had a blast. Allen tried marriage 3 times but it was not to be
his life long dream. In the end he liked being alone, go when and where he felt like it.
My husband is saved a lot of pain in his Alzheimer state. He has no idea of what has happened
but one day I know they will be together and have another shot of brandy.
Bob does not handle death very well and that would have been devastating.
Allen was more than a brother to him, Allen was always there to listen and to guide him in
his artistic career. Allen always loved us all and today even my kids are mourning and rejoicing that they have the memories with Uncle Allen.

You behave yourself Allen , and wait for us.

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