Time is limited.

Posted: July 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

Yesterday, a friend of mine that I’ve known for roughly fifteen years passed away from complications with a long term heart condition.

He isn’t the first friend I’ve lost, but his death hit me particularly hard for reasons that I couldn’t pin down until my wife and I were laying in bed last night. We had both just settled into the quiet stage after our usual pillow talk when she rolls over and says, “You know, I just realized, if it wasn’t for Christian’s Anarch Game, we might have never gotten together.”

It’s a funny thing about gaming that most people don’t understand, but games bring people together. They form friendships and relationships that last life times, and I can’t tell you how many of my friends (married and not) begin their ‘How I Met My Better Half’ stories with, “So, I was attending this LARP/Table Top/Event Game…”, and have been with the same person ever since.

Between that statement, and the remnants of this cold I’ve been fighting keeping me up, I’ve had a lot of time to think about my wife’s statement.

I’ll leave out a lot of details here, but my wife and I had been friends through our local LARP circle, and it was ultimately when she joined our friends game that we became closer and began talking more regularly. It was that shared experience that brought us together. The wife and I have always said that it was the shared story of Anabel Bransford, the southern Brujah civil rights attorney, and Creeper, the -6 Appearance Nosferatu, that cemented our relationship. We joke that the romance between the two was us gauging each others interest in the other. But we never gave credit where credit was due; because without Christian Kenney, odds are our lives would be much different and far less rich, and they already are for him no longer sharing this world with us.

And now I can’t thank him for giving us what he did.

Before my wife’s light bulb bedtime revelation, we had a very different discussion.

She came home after a long day at work, sat down, and called me out on ‘not being happy’.
These discussions rarely go well, as they’re often intermixed with a dispute over something else, and as such to overall message usually got lost in furor of me trying to calm things down and solve the bigger problem that I saw, rather than the focused one she was seeing.

Fact of the matter is this: I’m a wonderful caregiver, but a terrible housekeeper.
I’m shit with personal time management, focus and drive to get things done around the house. Always have been. But I off-set that with being amazing at managing my wifes, my kids, and the families schedules, making sure they each have what they need each day and pushing them both to be better and to make the most of themselves.
A month ago, my wife had a moment where she realized she’d been looking at her job all wrong and, after reassessing her position and duties, has had a noticeable and marked change in happiness and productivity. She’s doing better at everything, she’s flat out happier.

During the talk, which was a little heated, there was a pause.
We hadn’t talked about Christian’s passing earlier that morning yet, and normally she only starts these talks when she is stressed over something. So, I took her hand, squeezed, kissed it and said, ‘I miss him too’.
“And that makes my point all the more pressing, Josh. We only have so much time. If the house was a mess but you were crafting, I wouldn’t care. If things were chaotic, but you were writing and finishing projects, this would be different. But you’re not. I married you because you’re intelligent and insanely creative, but you’re not creating anything. What do I have to do to make that happen? I work hard to give you the opportunity that not many other artists get: to stay home so you can CREATE.”

Queue tumblers clicking into place. Now I feel like the biggest ass on the planet.

Every other time she’s said stuff like this we’d be in the middle of a fight (note: ‘Fights’ for us are heated discussions by most other couples standards. Joshy don’t fight) so I’d glossed over it in favor of solving the immediate ‘Oh fuck, what do I do to bring this to a peaceful, amicable, conclusion?!’ But, in trying to solve the immediate, I’d never looked at the core of what she was saying: I was looking at my job all wrong.

My job isn’t playing housekeeper, it’s being the eccentric creative who also takes care of the family.

Now I need to think of what I need to be…frankly…what I never thought anyone really ever wanted me to be.

Christian, I don’t know if you’re reading this over my shoulder as I’m writing it, or if you have internet in the Next Big Thing, but thank you.

Thank you for bringing my wife and I together.

Thank you for all the laughs and good times.

Thank you for being such a good friend to so many people for so long.

Thank you for everything.

God speed.

And now your watch has ended, we will never see your like again.


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