Posted by: suek2001 | October 27, 2016

..”.and friends I will remember you..”

It is that day again…October 27th…..21 years ago…

I have written profoundly on the loss of my friend Dennis Mertz..and how his memory remains with me…and it will be…

I recall that moment I moved forward in my life…I had just moved to Duluth and I stepped outside of my apartment building..and for the first time in years, I didn’t look up and to the left…

When I lived in Minneapolis, my rooming house was on the same block as Dennis’ apartment..He lived in an older building…white paint on red bricks…and had a great bay window where he could survey the block from his third floor apartment…

I still see that open air  apartment…and still see us sitting next to those bay windows…and admiring the beauty of the hardwood floor…and the random outline of an iron near the kitchen…Apparently,  whoever lived there before dropped a hot iron on the floor..and that left a mark..

Dennis loved that mark..It gave his home character…I hated that the bathroom was outside of the apartment..across the hall…never did understand if it was a shared bathroom but it drove me nuts to use it…

A few years after moving to Duluth, I came back to that street..and realized I still looked over at his apartment…hoping..against hope..to see him in those bay windows….and that’s when it hit me….

Moving to Duluth moved me forward in my life…If I had remained in Minneapolis in that spot, I would have relived that entire horrible week he died…over and over..

Thankfully, Dennis and I never got to Duluth together..so I have no strong connections to him here….yet….I do…

I have several things from that era in my life..things that only those closest to me would understand…and I have no desire to let them go….

He gave me this plaque three days after we met….it was my birthday..Sept. 1994…I never took the wrap off because his handwriting is still on it…

 

 

I have kept that for years…..and it still means as much to me today..as it did when he gave it to me that Friday morning…He also gave it to me wrapped in the Sunday Comic section…and some flowers in a sweet looking vase(which got lost in one of my moves)…

Later that year, he asked me to be his “plus one” at a banquet he was attending..I said yes..he picked out something for me to wear…

 

I still see him stop and stare at me…and say “Sue, you really look good tonight”…one of the rare times he complimented my appearance..I know he was thrilled I wore this…with a long sleeved purple blouse….Have worn it a few times since but I have it now..more as a museum piece…

Then when he died, his family came for his things…I was able to claim his TV..and the picture of Denali National Park I gave him….and this bookcase….

 

 

Yep..it’s a bit messy…as neatness was never a gift of mine…Dennis loved to read..and I recall he bought this at Montgomery Wards in Downtown Minneapolis…and then begged me to help him put it together…

His right hand had a nervous tic so he couldn’t hammer a nail to pound it down..so I was his right hand..woman? We skipped church one Sunday..listened to a local radio station…and spent about seven hours putting it together…we argued..we laughed…we ate…and we realized how much we meant to each other…I wanted that bookcase..and I will keep it ’till either I die or it falls apart…It’s still holding itself together after 21 years….

The other thing I have of his is something of a prized possession..Dennis had a classical style in furniture…I recall his roommate had a more modernist take..and that drove him nuts…but both of them loved Dennis’ desk…

 

 

Dennis kept some papers…a small lamp..and his bible..opened…on this desk…I claimed this one too….and it became my media desk..I have almost all of my cassette tapes, CDs and various boomboxes on this desk…it also has my alarm clock and desk lamp…and a phone extension…Again, I am not neat person but I do get a lot of use out of this desk…and again, I have no desire to get rid of it…after 20 odd years…

So, it’s been 21 years…and Dennis’ memory…his smile…that voice….are all still with me..and all these things still carry all of that too…I would trade it all to get him back for even just a few days….but when the times comes, I’ll have eternity…

 

 

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