Maybe it’s my age, perhaps it’s the people I hang around with, or quite possibly my life is just that tragic. Ever since I met Cush the “Curmudgeons Guide to Conversation and the Great Outdoors” he has been party to “more deaths than Cecil B DeMille!” Between him, Aunt Myrna, Dixie, and the neighbor across the street, I believe it represents 20 some bodies including LRR. It’s taken some time, but I’m convinced being associated with death, even at arm’s length, makes one vulnerable to death at close range. I had such an experience and need to share it. You’ve been warned—continue at your own peril.
I don’t know if I’ll ever know the whole story regarding my older cousins Diana and Carol, but Diana who lived quite well in Los Angeles Hills was my favorite. Carol seemed a bit distant so she became more or less a stranger. Diana had a breathtaking view of the city, pool, successful Attorney for a husband and two children. She enjoyed what most of us would consider a great life with all the ‘fixins’. Years ago Diana was hired to babysit me and my siblings. As long as I can remember I harbored unnatural thoughts about her, and even at my young age could only be described as sexual fantasy. Never having the nerve to overtly try anything she would enter and leave my life at ever lengthening intervals. Back when the mailbox was a friend, I got a personal invitation to Diana’s wedding. I was eleven, but still found myself feeling jealous and disappointed by the news.
It was a lovely ceremony etc…blah blah blah… but will never forget the reception. As I came through the reception line Diana’s large green eyes acknowledged me! She leaned down and delivered a soft and full lipped kiss. The kiss was far better than moms or grandma’s and made an immediate lasting impression on me. I was so overtaken by this simple gesture I felt it necessary to go through the line again to double check my feelings. Diana laid another soft kiss on me causing me to walk on air floating toward the punch bowl. It was looking as if things were winding down so I knew what I had to do. The third time through produced some snickering from those guests following my little drama, but I didn’t care. I was four or five people away from achieving my goal, when Diana noticed me. She couldn’t control herself and began to laugh; puzzling those offering their congratulations. She had a contagious laugh that would always draw you in. She did not disappoint, and I’ll never forget that day.
I lost contact with Diana but would get snippets of her whereabouts from family time to time, but from my perspective she was now a stranger. While in the middle of my traveling sales career I was spending a great deal of time in southern California. My sister insisted Diana wanted me to call so I did. Immediately I could tell she was still the same funny and sweet person I remembered all those years ago. I met her husband and we all got along with great chemistry. For the next couple of years we’d always hook up every time my travels led me there. But just like my childhood neither of us made the effort to stay in touch after I stopped traveling. I never knew anything about her unhappiness and still don’t.
Evidently she’d become a raging alcoholic and was tap dancing with demons. Her life got so unbearable she placed the barrel of a gun directly under her chin and blew the top of her head off leaving a gruesome scene for her husband. While not close, this news still affected me. I don’t know if I’ll ever understand how someone arrives at that point. The shame of it all is she let it beat her.
Mormons believe taking one’s own life is tantamount to murder and thus becomes an unforgiveable sin; doomed to hell. Of course this is unbelievably idiotic! It runs counter to everything I suspect about God. Diana was obviously tortured and convinced there was no other way to escape but to pull the trigger. Spending eternity in hell (whatever that is) seems fair given one’s earthly life was also hell. Yeah that makes allot of sense! Diana if God is who I think he/she is the ledger sheet must be overwhelmingly in your favor.
Rest in Peace