Shades of Gray Sunday

Thursday morning, after nearly two years brutal battle with cancer “Dad A” passed in his sleep. I called him “Dad A”, because he was the father of my best friend from fifteen until… well… now, kinda… and her mom insisted on being “Mom”, so, “Mom & Dad A” they became.

I called my friend Gnome, she called me Elf. We smoked our first cigarettes together. We listened to bad bar bands. We were both obsessed with the 1987 Monkees comeback tour – we hung together on the fence at the Jackson Fair to hear them play. We traveled by train to Chicago… We went together on the infamous MSU college visit that resulted in the even more infamous Apple Incident… And through it all, Dad A hovered in the background, micro-managing and keeping us reined in.

I saw him for the last time as he was finishing a course of chemo – he was surprisingly chipper, and a much kinder, mellower man than I remembered from my teens. Of course, as an adult, I have a much deeper understanding of his anxiety back in the day.

I have no words adequate to comfort his family. I have no words for my Gnome – and I won’t see her til Friday, so I can’t even give her a hug. Instead, I’ll share this song, a song of our childhood that has taken on such deeper meaning to our adult selves.

I love you, Gnome. I love you, Mom A. You are in my heart every moment.

TheMonkees Shades of Grey, Detroit Fox Theatre, 2013.


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