Frank McConnell

Date of Birth

May 20, 1942

Date of Death

January 17, 1999

In Memoriam

For the past 22 years, early January, the malaise hits without warning and settles upon me. It’s a heavy fog that cloaks my body, then swirls around and inside, weighing me down. It’s a physical ache that I shall carry through to the 18th. I don’t understand, why I am always surprised by its arrival.
When the malaise hit this time, I was heading south to Ventura along the 101. That early morning, the temperature was still in the upper 30’s, a brisk drive along the coast as I settled into familiar sorrows. Then, Sirius Radio belts out three in a row: “A Bushel and A Peck” (Doris Day); followed by “Tell Me Why” (The Rob Roys); followed by “My Angel Baby” (Rosie and the Originals). And for the encore: Ferlin Huskey’s “On the Wings of a Snow White Dove.” The last, its lyrics will have me on auto-drive turning the volume up, leaving the engine running through to the song’s completion. For those few minutes, precious joy!

I think I finally get it. This foggy heaviness that overwhelms me, it’s the grief that makes possible your presence, touched by you again. (Sorrow’s absence would be what then?) So here I sit at the keyboard, you and I together, making our way to the 17th , and then the 18th , when the malaise dissipates as suddenly as it had appeared 2 weeks previous. Meantime, I am embraced by you. Love, Celeste


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