Obituary: Ronnie Lincoln
December 17, 2009
Ron Lincoln’s mom called to tell me she only just found today his address book with my number in it. He died last March. He was put on high blood pressure pills, an abnormally high amount of them that were responsible for/caused his death. The doc at University Hospital who admitted him with what ended in organ failures indicated that had they discovered his improper dosing and wrong prescription about a year earlier, they could have reversed his death. His mother suspected something wrong, threatened him that she would tell his doctor if Ron wouldn’t confront the the doctor; the dose was fishy to her. He went to the ER at Swedish Hospital; they sent him to University ER; he was kept four days and seemed to be doing well the day his family all came to see him. Although at midnight that night, after laughing, being coherent even lucid, he went downhill into his death at 5 am. Ron’s dad was so upset; he died within six months of Ron’s passing. His mother is still fit to be tied, and she pulled together all the materials to sue the hospital, but she gave up on it– too much stress for her.
One of my strongest memories is of Ron’s mischievousness. One time I was given a chocolate cake, so I asked Ron to have some with me. After we shared, I put it in the refrigerator to make it last. Because I was portioning each serving, I noticed during the week the cake was getting smaller daily. I eventually caught my downstairs neighbor in MY apartment IN the fridge in the middle of the night. He said “Oh, I was sleepwalking.” Later, we laughed our heads off at his quickly-conceived white lie. I think he enjoyed smoking a little pot, and he always came up into my apartment whenever he thought I might have some comfort food. He would blush and stop just short of dying (of shame) when I teased him about it.
We talked a lot about food because his family, mother and sisters were fantastic cooks, and he always bragged about it. I worked on him for a take-home treat until one Thanksgiving I was invited to eat there. While I ate, I narrated what a fantastic experience I was having as I was eating each course, so they were all done eating while I was still on the main dish; to me, dessert was the future. They none of them left the table until I had finished my meal, including my slow verbal savoring of a German chocolate cake. Ron pointed that out to me later that they were waiting on me to leave the table. I thought they were enjoying the spectacle of me eating a good meal. God, we laughed our heads off. He used to say, “Do you KNOW what I MEAN?” It was said with such theatricality.We lived like that with unlocked doors for the eight years I lived on Gaylord Street. There were such a cast of characters who filled those seven or so apartments in the old Denver mansion.
Once I moved out of Denver, we spoke often on holidays or special events, usually the anniversary of Princess Dianna’s death, or 9/11, etc. I tried many times in ’09 to reach him, first when Obama won, then again when Michael Jackson died. I had never considered what might happen to all my good friends in Denver, that they might die off one by one, there being none left by the time I leave Massachusetts and return to Colorado.
He also dreamed of publishing a novel; I read the first chapter about two little boys who grew up in the New Mexico countryside, one reporting that Marilyn Monroe was dead; they each tried to figure out who she was. He had written a play about a teddy bear, and I think he was a teddy bear kind of guy. He told me he liked his apartment on Gaylord because it was like a cave. Later I learned that “bears” are slang for a big, burly or barrel-chested man. He struggled with his weight and his budgeting of money, and he dreamed of owning a condo on his own, and he dreamed of one day owning a dog, possibly a German shepherd. Eventually he went to a professional school to become a medical biller.
This year as I look back on my year, I usually set the reflecting process in motion by the Christmas mailing list, cut back to (but still) over 100 people, last year requiring me to create postcards rather than write cards requiring full postage. I pulled Ron’s name out of my Christmas list. I think of Ron’s mother now, deciding it was now time to face the remains of her only son’s life: several matchbook car collections, a Marilyn Monroe collection and many cobalt blue glassware items among some of his collections. I want Ron to know I still love him, but I miss him, too. I may now finally leave behind a will for my family to know my intentions because I never considered this before. Maybe I’ll write the letters to my loved ones now about that inevitable day when my family will wonder where it should all go, the remains of a single person’s life. @