Friday, March 26

Remembering an old friend

Howard with wife Merly at their wedding 
It's been a month since my friend Howard Vollers passed away... he was my unlikely BFF, about the same age my father would have been if he had lived long enough. I met him and his then girlfriend Merly three years ago, it turned out she was a distant relative although we're not exactly sure how we're related (3rd or 4th cousins? whatever).

Somehow that tenuous family connection was good enough for us and we became friends, although living in the same building definitely helped. Howard was a news junkie like me so we had lively debates about whatever was in the news, he was a very good cook, loved to sing Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" on karaoke and had a silly sense of humor.

He was far from perfect... he was stubborn, had too much fun when he first got here and consorted with much younger women in the past, which prompted his Texas-based wife to divorce him. But when he met Merly he was a changed man, that's why it makes me so sad that a month after their wedding, his drinking finally caught up with him and landed him in the hospital...

He succumbed to complications of alcoholic liver cirrhosis... knowing him, he wouldn't have wanted to live longer if it means being sick all the time. Still, it's very sad, I feel that he could have lived way past 64 if only he didn't hide his drinking problem from those closest to him. I guess it's just like him not to admit to a weakness.

At his wake, a lot of people gathered to remember him... alternately crying and laughing, reminiscing about his kindness and goofiness. He might have been a stubborn old coot, but he had a good heart. He never hesitated to help people in need even if some of them took advantaged of him. Bye, oldie... I sure miss your sarcasm, wit and wisdom.

5 comments:

Wacks,  10:35  

Always sad to see a good friend go, death sucks!

Lynn 21:12  

@Wacks Yes, no one can escape death.

C 21:36  

Oh, dear dear Lynn... I am so sorry to hear your loss... what an amazing friend you had in him....

~C

Lynn 22:52  

Thanks C, he was a great friend...

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