February 22, 2005

You're the best, Anth

and I've gotta just send out a plea to all the rest of you -- tell me some stories. I just can't express to you the aching loneliness of not having Ray stories, of not talking about Ray all the time. except for in my own head, of course. but you all have so many stories to share that I don't have.

Ray was a storyteller, so from our earliest moments together I heard stories. In fact, on our first dates (our first two took place the same day, one lengthy coffee-in-a-bar after boxing class, one later that night....he picked me up on his motorcycle & we drove to watch the sunset over the beach, ever the romantic my husband, and then to a moroccan restaurant to sit on cushions on the floor & eat w/ our fingers, highly recommended for a first date night...) all we did was tell each other stories. My sister Erin was extremely irked with me, when after I reported I'd been on a date with a really cute guy!!! and she asked all those relevant questions -- what's he do? where'd he grow up? does he have brothers & sisters? -- and I couldn't answer any of them. She said, exasperated, "what did you TALK about then???" and all I could say was we'd told each other stories.

Ray had done so much in his life, widely traveled, had incredible adventures, had learned so much on so many subjects - the man could navigate by the stars! - because he'd asked questions of everyone he'd encountered. And he was so observant, would notice and point out details, telling moments, little glimpses of the wonderful in the ordinary that someone else might have missed. He loved to share, to recount the adventures of his day, to re-live highpoints of his life, of our life together. And of course all the wild stories of Tulane...

Every time we'd be with "the guys" from Tulane (including Fina ;-) I'd hear Ray stories. The man, the legend. Most of those we'll save till Rose is older, of course! Some of those stories I could probably tell by myself at this point, I've heard them so many times. But I also would always hear a new one. Pretty amazing that someone could live only until he was 37 but still have so much to be told about him.

And I miss talking about him all the time. I don't have any need to mythologize him, he wasn't superman, he wasn't perfect, but he was an amazing, astonishing, mindboggling good man. I guess I bragged about him a lot. I still do. He'd just do things or say things or write me those little notes & I'd just have to share. My girlfriends probably got tired of hearing about him.

But I never do. So please, tell me some stories. Remember my Ray. Let his memory shine.