You never know what the day will bring, what will happen next. Most of us never master the art of expecting the unexpected. I certainly did not expect to be posting a blog on FMTSO today, and maybe not ever. It is even strange to see my name still listed as someone with posting rights.
On the way over, I checked my blog and saw that I have not posted since October 6. As the non-working grandfather, caring for the wild things has become almost full-time and I made it easier on myself by voluntarily (and temporarily) giving up many of my fond and self-fulfilling activities -- blogging, writing, photography. Don't cry for me. There is great pleasure in living in the toddler world since I am no longer obsessing about what I would rather be doing.
But this is not about me. Yesterday, I was flabbergastedly honored (if there is such a thing) by an email request from Ginger that I write and post an announcement/eulogy about her husband, Camillo Machnizh. As most of you already know, Camillo passed away unexpectedly on October 9th while they were traveling in Italy.
While I was awed and humbled by Ginger's request that I write something, I sit here and wonder what on Earth I could say at a time like this. Words cannot fill the kind of void that Camillo left. And yet, I must try. Perhaps Ginger asked me because she knows that I can babble on about almost anything.
Camillo. I never actually knew Camillo. In fact, until I looked at the post she wrote about him in May, I didn't know his last name. But there is a reality about Blogspot following. In between the lines we write and the photos we post, a family grows and emotional connections are made. We share each other's lives and sadly, we share each other's deaths. I still miss Barry Fraser who passed away over two years ago.
I have followed Ginger's blog for a long time although I haven't been following anyone much since I shifted my attention to being under three-years-old. Early on, I did not notice many mentions of Camillo in her blog -- some of us don't say too much about our spouses in our blogs. But his presence grew in her blogs and I became fascinated with him. I knew that I really like him when I saw a picture of him dressed in a fancy blue costume and flashy hat at a costume ball in Houston.
I knew that Camillo must be someone very special if he could win the heart of someone with the intelligence of Ginger -- not to mention marrying someone 24 years younger! Ginger and I sometimes emailed each other and there were times when she passed along some piece of advice or a comment from Camillo. I was tempted to write him directly and now I sincerely regret that I never did so.
Camillo. Until I read her post about him this morning, I knew none of the facts of his life. But in the pictures Ginger posted of him, he was always smiling. Always had a twinkle in his eye. They travelled, they danced -- I admit that I've been inspired by Camillo. At 67, I sometimes feel old. I sometimes feel that there is not much more ahead for me. Stupid, I know, but I sometimes feel that way. And then I'd see a picture of Camillo and say to myself, "What a full and exciting life that old guy is having!"
Even though he is gone now, he will always remain in my mind like a cattle prod, poking me when I get lazy and depressed to seize the day.
Even though I never knew him, I'd glad I knew him. The magic of Blogspot. And I am also glad that Ginger asked me to write something. She is a very wise and beautiful woman. She is understandably quiet now. I know from my own experiences that grieving is a long and arduous process. But I suspect that Camillo will also be prodding her toward her own unexpectedly rich future. Like all of her friends, my love goes out to her.