Monday, May 13, 2013

"It's a Dark Suit"

My first Spring Party was two years ago - the last year it was at the Spear Center.  The year before, in 2010, I sat out the "Party of the Year", prompting the photograph of my Kindle and a glass of wine that serves as a "Profile Pic" of sorts for this blog.  I remember Dennis telling me, "I certainly understand wanting to sit one out...but the Spring Party?  You're missing a good time."

So in 2011, I went.  It was my first year on the CA Board and we had a meeting later that night.  It was a perfect send off for everyone who wanted to wish me luck and give me last minute warnings that this was a mistake.  Not Dennis.  He said (on many different occasions), "I'm glad you're there.  I'm glad it's not me, but I'm glad you're there."

As Dennis and I are chatting with Dave Bittner, right next to the bar in the center of the room, Greg Fox walks up.  Somehow, in taking my hand out of my pocket to extend it to Greg, I dump a very full glass of red wine all over my shirt, my tie, and my suit.  "That's it.  Cut this guy off," Dennis says, before breaking into his high-pitched, attention-drawing, laugh.  After cleaning up, I remember commenting that this was not the introduction to the community I was hoping for.  Dennis, being Dennis, responded "Look at the bright side - it's a dark suit.  Can I get you another glass?"

I'm done grieving.  I will always miss Dennis.  I will continue mourning him in the right places at the right times and probably for a long time after today, but I'm done grieving.  I am torturing myself with news articles, old blog posts, and photographs to no meaningful end.  I imagine many of you are doing the same.

It's time we pick ourselves back up and rejoin the party.  On Tuesday, we will wear red.  Not just at the Spring Party, but wherever we go.  It is the color of passion.  It is a signal to one another that we are moving forward.  For me, it will note a turning point, after which we will make sure celebration is the key to our remembrance, not sadness and pain.

We can really do something great to remember a great man, but we need make that shift.  This is just part of that great thing, but it is the first part.  And if we shed a few tears on Tuesday, that's ok too.  Red is just dark enough to cover them up and shine on through.

(Hat tip to Bert for the pic)