I don’t like saying goodbye.  See you later is ok…….but goodbye is too final.

This week was brutal.  This week, we saw a friend of ours her last day at work.  She is a doll and she is moving as her life changed totally in the last year.  Her husband passed away and she was looking for direction.  It just happens to be that her new direction is in a town far away.   See you later Lori, we will miss you.  Then a terrible shock….a friend of ours died on March 22.  Craig Ibanez.  We first met him because he was a checker at the local grocery store…..but he was so much more.  He was a musician, a singer.  He was our friend.  He was teaching himself to play the guitar.  He had a wonderful wife, his music venture partner.  He was a kind soul, a happy man.  Plans for the future, the whole 9 yards.  So many people who loved him.  We loved to go and listen to them play their music; at the fair, at the local coffee house, at local events around town.  Anywhere 🙂  He always made sure to tell me when and where.  There was another date soon, and I was making plans to go.  That won’t happen now.

He was younger than I am.

The how and why he died I don’t know and it isn’t up to me to know.  One report said he didn’t feel well that day and passed away from a heart attack sometime in the early pre-dawn hours.  He had apparently just made plans to take some “real” guitar lessons- to begin the next day.  “Someday” had come, he had made time for those lessons.  We just never know when our time will run out, do we?

When my husband was so ill, for almost two years, Craig would always ask how he was.  Then he would say “more importantly, how are YOU?  You have to take care of yourself !!!”  Recently, when mom had had surgeries and recuperation time, he would always ask where she was, how she was doing.  Right now I am crying again, as I just keep going back to what a loss, he was such a good person.  I am proud to have had him as a friend.  He was so supportive, always.  After my husband died, one day I was going through one of his dresser drawers.  In the drawer I found a binder, it was titled “Mike’s Music”.  OMG.  I never knew he had written his songs, the music down.  You see, when my husband died, in the days after, I discovered that the informal cassette tapes he had recorded of him playing his guitar, singing his songs, had been lost.  Taped over by our son, who had been given them by none other than my husband. ?!?!?!?!?!  Seriously.  Now not one recording is left.  I was distraught.  To find this binder, I was blown away.  I was thrilled to tell Craig about it.  He encouraged me to follow the last wish that “we” had, my husband and I.  That was to get his music, that he had written and played, to James Taylor.  To show JT what an influence he had on my husband’s life through the music.  A final bequest as it were.  It took a lot of doing, but finally I got the ok from James Taylor’s assistant, to go ahead and send it along.  I did and it was good for us all to hear back.  While JT didn’t ask to record my husband’s songs, he encouraged us to have someone record it for us to enjoy.  I had wanted to have Craig do it.  We talked about it several times, but I just wasn’t ready to do it is what it comes down to.  Craig told me that if the time was right sometime,  he would help me if he could.  I know he would have gladly.  He was just that sort of fellow.  A good man.

I found an online link to some songs Craig had recorded with his wife.  I had to listen.  Of course I did.  I cried madly on and off, then was just immensely relieved that HIS voice HAD been recorded and was there to hear.  Good.  See you later Craig, we will miss you.

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