My daughter got a text message tonight as we were eating our ice cream cones, that "your mom's ex-boyfriend was found dead today." What? I went to the internet, my source of all things, good and bad, and found the news. His kids hadn't heard from him for a few days so they called the Sheriff's Department (that he once headed) to do a welfare check. They found him dead.
I hadn't dated anyone for over two years, and he came along. I was in my first year of blogging and had no idea how I could come to regret chronicling a romance for the world to read, I called him "Mr. Sweetie Man" here on the blog. He looked to be "normal," but it didn't take long to realize that he had a hell of a drinking history. And then in a little while more, I found out what all it had done to his life. It had ruined a long and distinguished career. There was a ton of stuff about his fall from grace to be found online. But he always "manned up," he had honor. He had integrity. He was a good man who had a terrible problem with booze. I do understand that. I did respect him.
He was so charming and he swept me off my feet. He was smitten with me too. We had a great time for a little while. And then he started acting weird. And then I had to finally admit that he must be drinking. He showed up here with booze on his breath, oh, how I wanted to be wrong about that gasoline odor, but I was not. My heart was broken.
We stayed in touch. I really liked him. He really liked me. He really appreciated that I was "there for him" as he was going through a really tough time in the last year. The last time I talked to him though, he hung up on me. It was right before the election and he got mad because I did not agree with his politics. I called a week after the election and left him a message... "I think we can talk again now that the election is over... " But sadly, that conversation will never take place.
I know he was sick. And I know it is not up to me to determine the cause of death. But in my heart, I know the cause of death. No matter what the coroner determines, I know.
I hate that he hated AA. HATED it. He hated the people. He had spent a lifetime in law enforcement and for him to sit with a bunch of people he thought were criminals was just too much for him. I would talk to him for hours about this. Did he think I was a criminal? NO! He surely knew there were thousands of AA meetings without a single criminal in them. His ego just found the convenient route to kill him. Our egos are good at finding that route. It doesn't matter if it is even close to the truth, it knows how to lie convincingly and it knows our soft spots.
I am sitting in bed, wanting to go to sleep. But I am shaking. I am so sad for this man, that he had to die alone, and that he had to be found by his former employees. I am so sad for his sons. I am so sad that his story is not unusual.
He was a good man. Alcohol took everything away from him. Everything.
God Bless Him.