Tag Archives: loss

Goodbye

This entry is not kink related… This is life related… This is life and aging and loss…

A couple of years ago, my first grandfather died. He was my dad’s dad, a happy little elf of a man who was should have been canonized a saint for dealing with my she-bitch of a grandmother. He had dementia, among other health problems, and was the ripe ole age of 84. He had lived a full life, which is not something that could be said about a lot of my relatives.

Right after he passed my dad and I were in the back yard having a drink, something not uncommon for he and I when I’m home. On that balmy summer night he told me about the last real conversation he had with his father, and how they had said goodbye a couple of weeks before he died, when his father was still somewhat himself. They had had one of those very rare good talks that stick with you for the rest of your life. They talked about fatherhood, about what being a good dad really meant, and how much they loved each other and respected one another. Even though one is never quite ready for something like that, my dad said goodbye to his that night and mentally prepared himself for the actual physical goodbye to come.

I did that tonight, not with my father (thank the Gods) but my other grandfather, my DadDad.

I am the reason he’s called DadDad. He had wanted to be Grand Dad and I just couldn’t say it as a young child, and someone DadDad had stuck even though he was my mom’s dad. He always has been, and always will be, a superhero in my mind. He tried out for the New York Yankees back in the day, and would have played for the team if he hadn’t been drafted… He handled my Grammy, who is a force of nature. He tells the best stories about sneaking into his mother’s basement and drinking the house-made alcohol when he was much too young, and flipping a taxi over in Paris with his Navy buddies, and coming home with a baseball bruise so deep that you could see the individual stitches in his skin that led to my Gram SCREAMING at him.

His background is an interesting one..  Before he was even born his father was out of his life. The youngest of four kids, his father had managed to knock up his cousin’s wife and his wife at the same time and left my great-grandmother for the cousin’s wife the moment he figured it out. I’ve heard horror stories about this figment of a man, this great-grandfather that wasn’t so great that would chain his own daughter to a radiator in the basement for entire nights at a time because she gave her brother’s too much food, or would show up when it was convenient to him to see if the family was making money, and if he could get some when he didn’t know his own damn son.

My DadDad not only survived this, but thrived. He had four kids of his own, and then five grandchildren. He survived the loss of his wife and his eldest daughter, and until now has had minor health problems.

Now…

Now his confident, booming voice is soft. His blue eyes that normally sparkle with humor are dull. The man who used to lift grandchildren onto his shoulders with ease and run around the house can now barely walk. He used to love food, as any good Italian man does, and is now going days without eating and rapidly losing weight.

This is part of life. Humans age. They eventually die. My DadDad doesn’t have cancer. He has no deadly disease other than time, and he’s well aware of this on his good days.

Today was a good day. He was more coherent than he’s been in a couple years with me. Normally, he slips between past and present. He’ll call me by my aunt’s name, trailed off mid-story to stare into space, and repeat the same story time and time again. I never mind. I’ve always loved listening to his stories.

Today there were no stories. It was short. His girlfriend (yes, at 84 he has a girlfriend because my DadDad has always been a handsome devil) decided that he needed to spend the weekend with her, which resulted in a fight between her and my mother… While they fought I helped my grandfather into the car and took a knee next to the car door so that I could talk to him. I hadn’t seen him since June, a visit filled with stories about his mother and growing up.

He surprised me by locking his eyes with mine. They were clear, not foggy, and his voice was direct but soft. “Your grandfather’s getting old, kid. I’m not going to be around much longer. I’ve lived a good life though. 84 years… I never thought I would have lived this long.”

I put my head on his shoulder, trying not to cry. He kissed the top of my head and hugged me with shaky hands. “I know you’re being practical… Just try to take care of yourself while you are around, okay DadDad?”

He laughed. He hugged me. “I’ll try.”

We talked about me being in California. He remembered that I lived near San Francisco. That I had a boyfriend who was older but not too old. That I worked “too hard for someone my age”.

“Are you happy, kid?” I told him honestly, that I was. That I was tired, but I was happy.

He smiled, happy but tired in a different way. “Then that’s all that matters. You look good. I’m proud of you, of who you’ve become. I love you, you know that right?”

Of course I know that… I love my DadDad to the moon and back. I know he loves me too.. I’ve never had a fear about our relationship. Never. He’s been a superhero to me since I was a child. He protected me from the sea witch in the Little Mermaid when I was a child and from an abusive partner as an adult. He knew amazing things thanks to street smarts and protected his house and my parent’s house during Hurricane Sandy because of wiring work he had done thirty years before. He was, and in my mind always will be, invincible. Even with his body failing I see a quiet contentment in him that I hope to one day have. His spirit is invincible, untouched by age and decay, and the memory of his smile and that sparkle in his eye when he laughs will remain long after his body is gone.

I apologize for this entry being so long… This blog has become an outlet for honesty and emotion… and I can think of nothing else right now but this goodbye. Tonight I saw MY DadDad. I don’t think I’ll ever get to see that again.

Goodbyes are hard. They are part of growing up, of life and the passage of time…but that doesn’t mean letting go of a superhero is easy. They live on in legend though, always.

Yours with a heavy heart,

-Rene

Mourning

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Photo by Michael Sundin

I don’t want to be writing this entry.

I had a whole post-Folsom entry planned out.. I was going to power through the last of the “30 Days” questions and then write about consent, and about why it’s such an important part of the D/s dynamic.. How it effects events like Folsom… It was all planned out.

Instead I am writing an incredibly painful entry.

The San Francisco community has lost one of our own own, unexpectedly, during a time in which the Leather and kink communities are usually celebrating the most. We mourn an incredible spirit, one that touched me directly and helped me a great deal when I was going through a very difficult time.

I met SwitchTendencies right after Kane and I truly ended, at the first play party that I was brave enough to go to alone and uncollared. He was the first person I did a scene with, the first person I trusted with causing real physical pain after going through such emotional pain.

I redded out. It was the first scene I’ve ever called “red” on… and even after that, he made me smile. During aftercare we talked and laughed, and I found his smiles and good humor to be truly infectious. His laugh is incredibly distinctive, a deep belly laugh that puts a smile on on my face even during my worst days.

As a Sadist, ST pushed me in the dungeon. Even as he made me cry, he would make me laugh with sarcastic comments as I screamed and squirmed on the cross. He was one of few people that I trusted to play with me but not cross any lines. He listened when I called yellow. He calmed me when I started crying and started each play session with a hug and positive energy. He ended each scene the same way. He loved to play. Loved to spank. Loved to make me and other little girls cry, in the best way possible. I am honored to have been allowed to play with him.

As a friend, he guided me back into a world that I had almost left behind. I will always be submissive. That is a part of my nature, as natural to me as breathing… But loving someone? Diving back into a poly relationship when the incident with Smith still had me burned? Trusting someone again? These were all things I didn’t know that I could do. ST was new to poly and trying to figure it out as well, with a very experienced poly partner that he loves to the moon and back. The mere mention of her and his whole face lights up. She taught him how to navigate poly, and he taught me. He was the first person to hug and congratulate me when he found out I was James’s. The first one to go “I told ya so!” when I said he had agreed to go on the date with me. He listened to me ramble about my crush on my now-Sir and slowly gave me the courage, through thoughtful conversations, hugs, and snuggles, to act when I was terrified of heartbreak again.

ST was part of so much in the Bay Area community. He volunteered whenever he could, went to more parties than I could keep track of, and always did it with a smile on his face. He was a constant figure in almost every area of kink in the Bay Area scene, from Wicked Grounds to the Citadel to groups like Society of Janus. He worked hard to improve himself, and pursued kink with a passion and openness that I envied.

On Saturday, there was a pre-Folsom party at the Citadel. As always, James was taking photos in the back and I was perched beside him to get whacked in between photos. ST came in and took photos, smiling with a partner and being goofy and giggly. Toward the end of the night he came and found me again, still on my perch, and we talked as we often did. He told me about the partner that he was with that evening. I told him about a new job I was starting and plans for Folsom weekend. We snuggled and hugged, both of us tactile and affectionate people. He was excited for Folsom, for being able to work at one of the spanking booths.

Before he left for the evening he hugged me tightly, longer than he usually does, and as he did I told him that I was always there for him, and that I loved him. He said the same back, with a smile on his face that showed his excitement for the coming day. It was to be a weekend of kink, and fun, and community. We were all together for Folsom, to celebrate what we were and what we loved.

My mind cannot process that this smiling soul is gone, so suddenly. When last I saw him he was doing what he loved, spanking pretty girls at one of the booths at Folsom. He was smiling, and laughing, and surrounded by a community he was such a part of.. My heart hurts. It is hard to remember how incredible the weekend was when such a tremendous loss was part of it…

My darling SwitchTendencies, you have left us far too soon. I don’t know what this community will be like without you, but I know that you will be remembered by many, for many reasons. When I think of you, it will always be with a smile… My writing cannot do justice to describing just how much of an impact you had on me, and on the community around you. There are no words to describe it, nor are there any to fully convey the hole that your absence from this earth leaves. Returning to the play spaces I love, knowing that I will no longer see you there… It’s a painful thought. I’m sure it’s a painful thought for many of us right now… You are dear, you are loved, and you are missed.

I don’t have the right words for this.. It is hard for me to write when I am upset, when I am mourning… But ST did so much. He cared so much. He is a good, giving soul… And this world is a little less bright without him in it.

Yours with a heavy heart and tear-filled eyes

-Rene