What's WRONG? Everything. At CLUB DEAD, The bell tolls for Roxanne Davis Kelly, psychic, mother, devoted fan of The Beatles and the Kentucky Wildcats, and the center of my universe, dead at 56.
What goes around, comes around.
I began this blog as a way to express what I felt about people who have passed on. I knew that eventually, I would have to stop.
Perhaps I will stop.
Perhaps I'll continue it.
I don't know right now. I'm so totally off kilter, I don't know how to begin to describe it.
Tonight, I come here to write about someone who died a few hours ago, someone who lived in my every thought for over thirty years. I debated whether to include her on this blog. Would she think it in bad taste, I wondered. But I know the answer is no. She was so much a part of everything I did on the air, it would be wrong not to eulogize her. She would want to be included.
Tradition has it that when a loved one passes, you should surround yourself with friends, associates, anyone who can provide comfort and distraction.
That's not how I choose to spend my first night without her. FIve minutes with her was always preferable to years with anyone else. So I'll be alone with my thoughts, my prayers, and seek the distraction that comes in writing these words.
I want to remember her. I want to dwell on the bounty of wonderful memories she left me. I want to believe that in whatever may lie beyond the mortal life, she has been welcomed and is healed. I want to believe that she will touch me tonight in my dreams, and that she will continue to do so often.
I'm determined not to cry, although I'm sure I'll lose that battle. Roxanne hated it when I would cry. I like to think it's because she saw me as too strong to need tears. More likely it's that she didn't want to face the fact the she married a wuss.
Roxanne was unique. Not one to be lost in the crowd, she touched everyone she came in contact with. She would have been the first to say that many people found her overbearing. She was abrasive, quick, to the point, yet loving, caring, and sensitive.
What made her smile? The Beatles, great food, Mozart, classic black-and-white films, and color ones as well. She had an encyclopedic knowledge of movies and television. Pretty good with music, too -- handy when you're married to someone in radio.
Living with me, Roxanne became a devoted fan of the University of Kentucky basketball team. It's going to be strange watching the Cats without her. That may be when I need that company and distraction which I'm not partaking in tonight. The last time I didn't discuss a game with her, Kyle Macy was playing the point and Goose Givens was putting on the show of his life against Duke. That's a long time.
She had spent a year in the hospital as a child. Much of her outer tougness was hatched from a needed instinct to survive. After our daughter was born, she decided to stay home... a typical wife and mother through good times and bad.
Our story was never one of love at first site. but of love nurtured and tenderly grown. Truth be told, that gruff exterior put me off at first, too. As we began to find each other, she began to trust me enough to show the loving, caring side of her personality. And she discovered the same part of me. Through the success and heights of my career, she was there, helping at every turn.
When failure followed my sucess, I was generally an ass. Roxanne stayed by my side long after most women would have left. Maybe it was for our daughter's sake. I only know it took me until age 42 to grow up. By then, the familiarity and comfort was intact, but the thought of love was streching thin. But despite a few years apart, we continued together, as best friends and devoted allies. The time apart made our reunions that much sweeter.
Seventeen years ago, Roxanne began to re-discover the psychic abilities which had fascinated her early in life. She began to connect with people, and as the psychic industry emerged from the shadow into mainstream America, she helped lead the way.
I often told her how much I held her in awe. The people she counseled were generous in their praise. I long ago lost count of the number of people whose lives she touched, not just in passing, but with substantial influence. She helped people. Many people.
And people loved her. But -- forgive me for being selfish -- no one loved her as I did. Strike that. As I still do. My faith tells me that from beyond, she is still in my life. If it's simple to believe that she and her parents are re-uniting tonight, somewhere in God's great universe, then I shall be simple.
We look for any sign, so I've found one tonight. The movie "Sister Kenney" has appeared on TV. It's certainly obscure enough to take note of. Roxanne saw it as a child in the hospital; in fact, it inspired her to study nursing. As I remember, it's the first old movie she ever showed me. It doesn't seen that long ago, that first night of many we would share as she passed to me her love of classic cinema. To see it tonight, of all nights... just say I'm closing my mind to the idea of coincidence.
If I'm right, I imagine her parents and mine will have welcomed her by now. Could be she's busy figuring out how to find John Lennon, George Harrison, Bob Marley, and Vivien Leigh. Perhaps she's already been to the Rainbow Bridge and exchanged kisses with our four beloved Shar-Pei.
And I hope she's checking how to help her big honey, who's a more than a little bit lost right now.
Here is the message I posted to the WABX listeners on our web site.
September 29, 2009
I am heartbroken to tell you that my Roxanne passed away today. Despite our estrangement we were still best friends and shared intertwined lives. I thank God for the over thirty years we had together, and that she died without pain.
Roxanne was a psychic advisor who had brought endless joy and needed counsel to thousands of clients over the years. We all hope to make a contribution in this world. I can truly say she made a huge difference in many peoples' lives.
Roxanne was a proud Kentuckian by way of Atlantic City. She was a Jersey Girl, through and through. Tough as steel, with a heart as tender as any. Beneath her brittle shell lived a passionate, vibrant soul. From her, I took a love for Mozart, Bob Marley, old movies, and my Serbian Orthodox faith. In return, through me, she gained an appreciation for politics, barbeque, and the unique lovingly cynical viewpoint available only to radio spouses.
She also assimilated by love for the Kentucky Wildcats, maybe even eclipsing my own place in the Big Blue Nation. This is no small thing. Is it selfish of me to wonder how I'll react without her?
I also treasure the things we discovered together: The joys and aches of parenthood, the rigors of road trips, and the irony of British comedy. And most of all, the incredible rush of tackling life while being coupled with someone who adores even your worst faults.
I have no idea why she loved me. I only think God she did.
Obviously, this is an awkward time. To my friends, please don't hesitate to call or mail, though I may not respond quickly. I appreciate your love and support and I shall thank you individually when circumstances permit. Anyone knows me personally knows how Roxanne has been the shining light which has guided me almost all my adult life.
To the listeners, just know that whatever pleasant moments I have been able to bring you came through the love and support she gave to me, even through the times when we were no longer "in love." I can only wish that you have, or will find, someone which brings you such richness as she brought to me.
Dobro vece, pila moya.