In his sleep, Thursday night/Friday morning. I received notification from his twin sister, Anne, earlier today. Don was 61.
Don (his Canadian friends and family knew him as Sandy) was the long-time webmaster and creative force behind Random Round-Up at the Goddesschess website. The website was taken off line earlier this summer when we started experiencing technical difficulties with our server and couldn't get them resolved. Then some serious health problems hit both of us around the same time, although Don had been sick for several months before with what he called "the flu." We shared atrial fibrillation together, both diagnosed around the same time in June. I thought we had both been on the path to recovery together. I was wrong. Way wrong.
Don and I first met in December, 1998 and became engaged in November, 2003. We were friends and fighters both and shared deep connections in ways words cannot describe. Although we decided not to marry in 2010, we remained deeply bonded. Our last adventure together was in January this year, our second trip to Madrid and Toledo, where Mr. Don wore me out with his go-go-go! I did many blog entries from Madrid and posted many photographs.
Mr. Don took this photo of our shadows way up a hill at Rentiro Park in Madrid. I am on the left, holding my ever-present tote bag. Mr. Don is on the right holding his videocam. The photo looks like we (or our shadows) are on bases, like chess pieces.
Don hard at work in the family room at the second laptop (my house) before we left for Madrid a few days later, in January. He was bundled up in a hoodie and an afghan. He was often cold here (I keep my heat at 64-65, but I'm used to it), and liked nothing better than snuggling in front of the fireplace in the front room.
This photo was taken with my very ancient browny camera in October 2002 during our first trip to Madrid, at the gift shop on the Royal Palace grounds while we were waiting for our tour to be called. There was a cache of swords and like all good swashbucklers, Mr. Don went straight for them.
Mr. Don, waiting at Milwaukee airport for our flight to Chicago en route to Madrid, January this year. We had to get there EARLY and had breakfast before going through security.
I am shutting down for awhile. The Summer from Hell has turned into the Autumn of my Worst Nightmares.