John died a year ago. I never got a chance to say goodbye. He did not die of Covid but of terminal cancer. His last days took place during the pandemic and he died alone in the hospital.
Johnny was my ‘Bro-in-law”. He married Paula my wife’s sister after a lengthy, very lengthy courtship. He was a colorful character that may have been a little gruff on the exterior but was soft as a teddy bear inside. At one long moment in his life John was a biker. He loved his Harley Davidsons. He finally acquired the funds to buy a brand new Harley Davidson. This was his pride and joy. I asked him time and time again to let me ride his prized “Hog”. He declined for the longest time but one day he eventually agreed. I never got a chance to take him up on his offer.
What I loved about John was his stories. Oh boy did he tell stories. He would begin his tale and immediately you would begin to smile. You knew there would be a punch line or the story would become so outrageous it was time to laugh. John and I loved our drink. The women would be away and John and I would imbibe. I was in the kitchen and I heard Johnny singing. I came into the living room and there was my 80 pound Golden Retriever on his lap loving the off key crooning. John loved football and we would spend hours being professional Monday morning quarterbacks.
John had a unique hobby that kept him busy. He collected models. He built cars, planes, tanks and even ships. When he came to visit we would have to make a special trip to the model store. This trip was special because you could see the joy and anticipation of a grown man going to the toy store. I would always kid him that we would blow up his models once he had completed them. Of course this did not happen.
John had a medical episode that required a dreaded doctor’s visit. He did not like the doctor. I think he had an idea of what was to come. The last thing he said before he went to the hospital was; “I just want to get this over with”. It was over but not the way we wanted. The pandemic complicated everything. No visitors, bad communication and the inevitable death. I never got to talk to Johnny again. He died alone in the hospital. I want to be angry and I guess I am. Johnny was my Bro-in-law. I just want to say; Goodbye and I love you.