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19 February 2013 @ 02:20 am
Big Doc, the father of my night-aunts (to the point that I just call them aunts), died on the evening of the 17th. It's sad, certainly, but it was long in coming and with that I am not torn up overmuch (he'd have hated that anyway I imagine; he always wanted people gathering to sing and celebrate).

I lost my English Grand-Dad at 9 and for all intents and purposes my English Nana already, for I will never again sit in a room with her the way I did at 17 (when I visited to tour universities) or even 19 (when uncle and I visited during my break); she's made the decision to stop eating at least once though Western medicine pushed her through. Still, I only ever spent a number of weeks with them total in my life. In that way, Big Doc was as much a grandfather to me as anyone else.

I keep thinking of him and smiling. The way he loved to be around people, and the way he'd nod along even when I was damned well sure he couldn't hear a word of what people were saying, he was just so happy to have people around him. I always thought he looked like an excited puppy-dog, with the gleeful eyes and the long wise hair of his brows; I'd have sworn that if he had a tail, it would have been wagging. He may as well have been Big Dog. Especially down at the Cape, with his daily newspaper-retrieval and his daily swim and his frequent desire for treats (like ice cream at the Whistle Stop Ice Cream Place).

He came to my UU congregation a few times and seemed to love it. I'd get the word back in the Religious Education wing that I was being summoned and eventually I'd end up around my mother, who would tell me Big Doc was waiting for me. I sat and asked him questions, well aware that at that point (with his hearing far gone, the noise up high, and his health) the interaction meant much more than the conversation.

Happy old man surrounded by love and song. I've never met anyone so dedicated to keeping a community around, being sociable just to be sociable, and keeping the guitars well-strummed or the pianos well-played.

I'll miss him. It was his time to pass, though, and mostly my thoughts are over his life lived to the fullest. There will always be a piece of Big Doc spirit, symbolic tail a-wagging and eyes a-glow, down at the Cape; in England too, I'm sure, and wherever else he went.

Sing it, Big Doc!

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Current Mood: indescribableGrateful.