Thursday, May 03, 2007

if you only will

Whenever I watch King of the Hill, I am reminded of my Nebraska uncles and cousins.

Especially Lonny, my cousin by marriage. He was always there at family events, standing around, looking amiable with a beer can in his hand. Every time I saw him, I thought that he seemed to me to be the Nebraskan Hank Hill: conflict adverse, alcohol friendly, ready to help me out with any family reunion-related task or chore, just as long as he didn’t have to agree with me on any political or moral issue, ever.

He worked at a meat packing plant. He like to deer hunt and to fish. He had a boat and a little vacation cabin on a lake. He was proud that his son had gone into law enforcement.

He was also what they call a “functioning alcoholic.” For many, many years.

Until the “functioning” part stopped functioning. Until, piece by piece, everything single part of his life stopped functioning.

And then, he shot himself.

Out at the cabin. And, of course, being the man that he was, he arranged that his family would find his note too late to stop him, and that they wouldn’t be the ones to find the body.

I was told that his note said, “I can’t do it anymore.” And now here I sit, wondering not only how many times I have said that in my life, but how many times I have said that about life itself, about the very effort of living. And how fucking trivial all those proclamations seem now.

So, please, gentle readers, if you can, go read my little sister’s beautiful post on our cousin Lonny.

And I hope with all my heart, when I tell you that today I burst into tears when I heard James Taylor sing “shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel,” that you will not think less of me. I am still the same hard person I was before. I promise.


michael said...

I'm sorry for the loss to your family. When someone you know gives up, in a situation that seems treatable and manageable...that's a bad beat.

Skylers Dad said...

I can't imagine how deep you have to sink to take your own life. I am so sorry for your loss Vikki, lots and lots of love coming your way.

kbryna said...

i'm so sorry...i listened to an interview with judy collins the other day - her son committed suicide, and so she was discussing suicide, very intelligently and compassionately.

and she said: the only thing we can do with our dead is to love them.

Anon. Blogger said...

Oh, Vikki. Once again you have touched the essence. "Shower the people.." It is so, so important. Not the least bit anything to think is just sappy.

In most of our lives we fail to remember that each life we touch each day is a fragile one. None of us knows what is down there under the surface. You may be the only nice person that someone sees or hears in a given day.

I know this first hand.

I'm sorry for your family's loss and for Lonnie's pain.

GETkristiLOVE said...


CiscoKid said...

That is upseting and it is understandable the effect that it had on you. We've all had our own Lonny in our own families and despite every sign of love and care others have for them, sometimes they are un-willing to accept the help. Your sister's story is very touching and even if it is through this medium, we wil continue to shower you with love.
Take care.

Anonymous said...

Vikki, I'm so very sorry for your loss.

Grant Miller said...

Oh dear. I'm really sorry. Hope things turn around.