I didn't realize til just this moment that it is May 25, the 24th anniversary of my husband's suicide. What a long time ago that seems. Truly another world, another lifetime.
Jay was a bluegrass guitar player and singer from Boston. He and his friends had a band that was very popular in Fairbanks, the town we lived in in the late 70's. When we met, it was love (or something like it) at first sight. He was wild and smart, funny and fatalistic. He did everything to the extreme: music, motorcycles, drugs, alcohol, love. He had a ponytail and a crazy dog and I thought he was everything I'd never experienced. I was a sheltered, suburban, private college girl and he was the real world. He could walk into any bar and be at home. At the time that seemed like something.
I grew up during our short time together. Learning to live as a couple, on my own truly for the first time, trying to mesh very different backgrounds and values. There was love, fighting, fear and finally awareness. I was in way over my head and was going to drown with him or remove myself from that quicksand. Before the divorce was final, he succeeded too well at one of his occasional attempts at suicide, something I still believe he didn't mean to do.
For years I couldn't listen to a certain type of bluegrass without crying. Now it brings me closer to him. I have nothing left of our life together except some photos, and the only people I know who remember him are my family. He lived hard, tried to be happy, and loved me the best he could. I remember you, Jay, and you live on in my heart.