Today, Saturday, February 27, 202, was the online memorial for Lew Geer, the partner of my close friend Nancy Dahl. He and Nancy had been together 22 years, and for both of them it was – and they often said it out loud to anyone within earshot – “the love of my life.” Lew died of Covid the day before Valentine’s Day in the hospital in Santa Fe, alone as so many have. But blessedly Nancy was able to visit him a few days earlier. I saw a photo of her, fully suited up, sitting on the bed, and it is clear that neither her hazmat gear nor his tangle of oxygen tubes and IVs could stop the love and adoration that flowed between them.
He was 74 and was living with a treatable kind of leukemia. A recent lab workup showed that he was doing well, and could continue to live a fairly normal life. And his “normal,” as I heard at the memorial today, was packed full of generosity, curiosity and fun. Of course I knew from my own friendship with him what a wonderful, loving person he was. He had lived in Japan and we sometimes carried on mock conversations in Japanese, he way better than me! In so-called retirement, he was on boards and contributed to projects that were very worthy but unlikely to attract the support needed. He took up petanque (google it!), played chess, made cherry pies, doted on children and grandchildren, and kept his many friendships well nurtured. His zest for life never waned.