Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for November 19th, 2011

Jeff’s Memorial Service, and Why I Can’t Go

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Folks, this is a terrible thing.  I’ve been struggling all week with the fact that my friend Jeff Wilson is dead, that I’ll never be able to help him again, that I’ll never hear his voice again . . . and now, I can’t go to his memorial service, either.

The problem is very simple: the money isn’t there.  I really want to go.  I feel terrible that I can’t go.  I want to be around people who knew Jeff at least a little bit — people who will understand why I feel so awful that he’s gone in a way my family can’t, my friends can’t (except for the very few who knew Jeff at all) — and it’s not going to happen without a major miracle (like winning $500 tonight in the state lottery; while I do have a ticket — I always played my numbers when Michael was alive, and I’ve continued to play them — I know how unlikely it is that I’ll win just the amount needed to go to Colorado at the absolute last minute).

Now, I suppose a major miracle is still possible and if so, I will be glad to come back here and say that if it happens.  I know I prayed all week and hoped that somehow, in some way, I’d be able to get to Jeff’s memorial.  But it’s in Colorado; I live in Wisconsin, and that’s the only reason I hadn’t already found a way to get out there and visit Jeff during the last five weeks of his life — while he fought a major medical crisis, looked to all concerned as if he’d turned the corner, was getting better and was sent to a nursing home for long-term rehabilitation and care — and then he died.

I know that Jeff wouldn’t care where I mourn him.  That’s not the point.  The point is that I wanted to be there so others who didn’t see Jeff in the same way I did would know to look for his good qualities.  As I’d said before, Jeff’s personal situation was far less than stellar.  Some people only view life in materialistic terms and don’t see that a life well-lived, where there’s a great deal of personal growth going on and a deeply spiritual outlook to boot, is one that’s worth living.

Jeff was poor in material things, except for books and his cats.  But he was rich in everything else.  That’s why I wanted to be there, so I could counter some of the materialism I was likely to find at his memorial service; Jeff wasn’t someone who had a big career or job or any money at all, but he was a wonderful person.

At any rate, I will never forget Jeff Wilson.  Never.  And I guess that’ll have to be enough for me, even though it surely doesn’t feel like it right now.


Edited to add:  Jeff’s memorial service has been called for 3 p.m. on Monday in Fort Collins, CO.  He will be cremated, which was his wish . . . and the memorial service is to be held on what would’ve been Jeff’s 48th birthday.  That’s yet another reason why I wanted to go, even though I have a plethora of reasons as it is.  (As I’m sure you saw.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 19, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Just Reviewed “Scandal of the Year” at SBR

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Folks, it’s Saturday, so that means I’ve reviewed a romance.  Tonight’s book was Olivia Drake’s SCANDAL OF THE YEAR, which I found to be a rather pedestrian Regency romance that was only livened up by the vivid descriptive powers of Ms. Drake.

Here’s the link to my review:


Written by Barb Caffrey

November 19, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Quick Vinny Rottino Update

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Folks, Vinny Rottino has come to terms with the New York Mets on a minor league contract for 2012.  This information was released yesterday and was covered (in blurb fashion) by the Racine Journal-Times . . . anyway, Rottino will be playing for his fourth organization (the others being the Milwaukee Brewers, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Miami Marlins) and I really hope the Mets will see his worth and value.

Other than that, Rottino is playing winter baseball in Venezuela.  He’s currently hitting .245 according to the Journal-Times report.

In some ways, I wish Rottino had taken the winter off.  I think it’s very hard on anyone’s body to keep playing a sport year-round, even when you’re extremely fit and in-shape the way Rottino is.  I also think that as his AAA season was so successful (he hit .304, he led his team, the New Orleans Zephyrs, in many statistical categories as I’ve pointed out in previous blogs, etc.), he needs to take some time out to rest as he’s obviously put everything he has into improving his game enough so he can make it — and stick — in the big leagues.

Even so, Rottino knows his body far better than I do, and I’m sure he’s doing the right thing for himself.  I hope Rottino will do well in Venezuela and make some valuable contacts; he’s a good man by all accounts.  He’s also incredibly hard-working, as is evidenced by refusing to take time off and being in Venezuela to play the game he loves, baseball, despite his great AAA season.  He deserves to find whatever success he can, and I truly hope he’ll have that success.

Here’s hoping when the 2012 Spring Training rolls around that the Mets will be the organization that realizes what a gem they have in Rottino, and will give him the major league shot he deserves.

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 19, 2011 at 9:32 am