Oh Darling Ones,
Last night I found out a friend from college died of colon cancer. He wasn’t even fifty.
While I haven’t seen Baltus since the 90s, I’ve thought about him every Valentine’s Day for the last twenty-eight years.
The Baltus-Valentine story looms so large in my memory, I’m surprised it didn’t appear sooner or more often. Of course he appears often in the archives as one of the Cross Country Boys. And while I can’t say with 100% certainty Baltus introduced me to the music of The Jayhawks, my memory is re-writing history to give him the credit. Sorry, other Cross Country Boys.
When I texted my sisters last night I pointed out that Baltus died the same day I had my stroke. “Not a good day for Blugolds,” I said, referencing UWEC’s nonsensical mascot.
I’ve spent a lot of time today thinking about grief and Baltus and my college years and the impact we have on each other.
As I mentioned, I haven’t seen Baltus since the 90s. I cannot attest to the kind of man he grew into. However, I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of his goofy kindness which has stuck with me for actual decades. Hopefully, it sticks with me for many more.
And while I’m hoping, I’m gonna throw some at this tsunami of terrible, no-good, very bad things. It’s got to come to an end. I am quite literally sick and tired of being the Queen of Unending Bummer. I’m ready to give up this crown if anyone wants it.
P.S. COVID-Stroke is continuing to kick my ass. I’ve never been this exhausted in my life. I owe so many people so much gratitude. I will get to it. I swear. But I continue to have limited reserves of energy and today I needed to take a nap after fixing myself a bowl of cereal.