Thursday, May 5, 2011

facing another

loss in our lives.  my dear friend Brad, who has been my loving friend since June 1983 is in hospice care.  it is very likely he will not see his 50th birthday in late June.  I can't begin to enumerate how important Brad was in helping me through times of difficulty and in celebrating times of joy.  even when we weren't together -we were. 

we spent a lot of time together for a decade or so and of course life took us on paths that diverged - mine to career things and his to family things.  he married and had two children and I traveled all over the world but the connection between us was strong and never broken.

I have dug up some photos from lots of things we did together to post - kind of a little shrine and a ritual of holding on-

we met in June 1983 when I was dating a high shcool friend of Brad's - I was recently separated from my first husband and going through a fair amount of emotional trauma.  Brad seemed older than his years and had a peacefulness and calmness that was different from his peers.  he had been living in California but was returning to Chicago to start up a business.

the above photo is taken in March 1984 on Venice Beach.  Darren and I were out there on vacation and Brad joined us.  at that time Brad - when asked the question "are you dating anyone?" would answer "yes, I am dating Darren and Vicki."  later when Darren and I broke up I got Brad "in the divorce" and we stayed dear friends.

this is a photo from a vacation we took in Key West in February 1985 - 
when Darren and I broke up Brad was the one who handed me the tissue
and said "get over it"

a birthday dinner at Charlie Lui's with friends February 1986

a party at my place to celebrate Brad's acceptance into facilitator training in 1986. 
I would follow in hs footsteps two years later.

at the sound board in a seminar - Brad was the one who trained me to do this work
and that gave me some travel opportunities I wouldn't have had otherwise. 

dancing at Ivy Grossdorf's wedding

at a gala celebrating a special (25th) anniversary for one of our spiritual teachers

Brad and Anne Trompeter-Bodine at a seminar

At a Halloween party in the late 80s (two cats!)

with Joey Hubbard at the Love and Learn Seminar in December 1987 or 1988

with Dorothy Zwiazek, Brad's long term girlfriend in that era- away for a weekend in Wisconsin with friends

at a Rick Edelstein-Matisse seminar with friends
 (included in the photo from left- and counter clockwise -Iris Sielaff, Brad, Leslie Sann, Patti Clark,
Roy Hill, Pat Beal, Assad Mounzer and Art Waller)

at a holiday party at yet another of my apartments with Scott Goldberg
(son of friend Dave Goldberg)

with Pat Beal (above) and (below) a New Year's celebration
(the day Andrew Huson was born I think 1/1/90)

in Chicago -a celebration at the end of the nine week
Leadership Training: Demonstrating Excellence 

Brad's 30th birthday party June 1991
from the left Helen Schwartz (Brad's mom) - Paul and Stacy Kotelov (Brad's sister and her husband) and below Chelsea and Kippy - Brad's beloved doggies. (Stacy's dog on her lap but I don't recall its name.)

a photo from graduation when I got my Master's Degree in Applied Psychology
from the University of Santa Monica.

a mutual friend inquired yesterday on how I was doing, haivng heard the news of  Brad entering the final stages of hospice care and here is what I answered:

I knew he was ill and fighting it but I hadn't heard from him in a while and given the odds figured it wasn't good-
he has been my loving friend since June 1983 when we met- I actually can hardly think of anyone more capable of dealing with such a situation from the 90% level-
when he is released into spirit he will just be more truly himself- and our loving will stand as it always has - of course there are tears but I KNOW he will always be a part of me- we supported each other through some of the roughest times in our earlier lives and I am honored to have called him my friend. 

Love Always Brad- your friend TOR (and by the way- he was the one who gave me that nickname)

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