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Cherish Every Moment

Updated: Jan 8


Good Morning My Confidants

 

Forgive me for a moment....

 

Yesterday was the seven-year anniversary of the passing of one of my dearest friends, Paulle Jung Morvant-Alexander. I knew that anniversary was rapidly coming, but didn’t see the notification until the late afternoon.

 

I want to take a moment to say something about this woman.

 

Paulle was a wild woman if there ever was one. She was funny. She was brilliant. She was an extraordinary artist. She was an award-winning fanzine writer and artist. She could be mean. And she could always be reasoned with. She was a witch par excellence. She was a hero of mine and someone I looked up to. More, she looked up to me!

 

She defeated cancer at least twice. She was determined she was going to live, and by God, she kept living. She self-published three amazing novels, two about a psychic and one about a werewolf family. Both had sequels nearly finished. She would call me whenever she finished and read me a chapter. Once when I was in the hospital, she would simply read to me until I could fall asleep and with the pain I was in, sleeping wasn’t easy.

 

Paulle was so triumphant when she beat the second cancer. I was stunned. It was a particularly aggressive type, and she did it. Amazing. We were making plans for a visit. She was even talking about taking me to New Orleans with her. It was her beloved hometown.

 

Then...she started acting a little...funny. She would call me more than once a day to read a chapter to me. I would tell her she had already called and she couldn’t believe it. Once I was talking to her while I was washing the dishes and right in the middle of telling me something she suddenly cried, “Ben! When did you get a basketball hoop put in your kitchen?”

 

“What?”

 

“Does your husband like basketball?”

 

I didn’t know what to say, and since she seemed to get a bit distressed when I mentioned some of her unusual recent behavior, I decided to simply play along. I had no idea why she thought we had installed a basketball hoop in our kitchen....

 

And then....

 

She collapsed in the facility where she was living. I didn’t know. All I knew was that I hadn’t been able to get ahold of her for two or three days. That was not normal. Then finally I found out. She was in the hospital and when doing x-rays (or whatever they do) they found out her brain was filled with marble sized tumors. She was not going to live.


I simply couldn’t believe it. Apparently neither could she. She was pissed in fact. Angry that she couldn’t even communicate. Furious that she would never meet her hero—Nicolas Cage—whom she dreamed would one day star in a big movie production of her novel Relevance.

 

I tried and tried to call her, but no one would let me. Another friend contacted me to sort of fill me in, but it wasn’t the same. Plus, the news on my dear friend wasn’t good. The day before she was going in for a radiation treatment and she slumped over. They took her to ER, and then she was placed in hospice.

 

I finally spoke to a nurse who was incredibly kind. She was trying to fill me in when I broke down and started to bawl. I had been trying so hard to be brave. If hugs can be felt over the phone, I felt hers that day. She went to Paulle and asked her if she wanted to hear me—because she could barely breath and can’t talk back. She did.

 

So, the nurse called me back on her own cell phone (asked me not to mention what she had done to anyone) so I could talk to Paulle and tell her how much I love her. I said it over and over again. I told her I was re-reading her marvelous Magarelli Series and how very much I loved the heroes Al and Dede. I didn’t say how deeply I was saddened that she wouldn’t be able to finish the third book and how I would only know the sections she read to me on the phone and how I wished the book could come out and how I wondered just how much of that book is in her computer.

 

I didn’t say any of that stuff, only that I loved her.

 

And then I said a movie line that made her sort of gasp—it was about the only noise I heard her make. “Paulle,” I said, “I have been, and always shall be, your friend.”

 

The nurse said she had to go. But she also let me know something else. That Paulle was declining rapidly.

 

Then, at 2:35 in the afternoon, if I remember right it wasn’t more than an hour or two after I spoke to her, my dear friend of nearly forty years passed from this plain of existence. I was simply numb.


And every year on this date, I am ether numb again...or I cry. Not sobs this time, but the tears flow freely.


Paulle was not near ready to go. She had so much left to do!


And sometimes, I think I hear her whisper to me. Some people think that when we die we go to be judged. If that is so, I know the judgement will fall in her favor. Some people think we’re just gone—but somehow I don’t think she would put up with that. Some people think we get reincarnated...but if that is so...how do I hear her whisper at certain times, almost always in some way that guides me? Maybe we stick around until we’re ready to go on to the next life? Maybe she’s one of those people who simply refuse/d to go into the light? For some reason it seems like she’s just... Right there. Like she’s not gone.

 

I don’t know.

 

I know that cannot grasp that it has been seven years. I too often feel the warmth of her heart and soul. I can still hear her voice. It seems impossible to believe, still. Seven years ago, I lost one of the best friends I’ve ever had in my entire life. And being a gay man of my age, I’ve lost an incredible amount of friends.

 

I've lost a lot of friends. You can't be a gay man in my age group and not have lost a lot of friends! We got almost numb to it. We had to in order not to lose our minds.


But for some reason, I've still not really dealt the death of Paulle, even seven years later. With time, I hope I can deal with the grief of her loss. Of my loss. It distresses me how few people seem to know who she was. Ot remember. This is in some small way my letting the world know that she WAS.

 

But I’m also so happy and so proud that I had her in my life for so long.

 

So now I want to say something that you have heard many times I am sure, but I must must must say it again,


In life, we never, ever know. Nothing is forever. And while I miss Paulle and so many of my other friends (the list is so long I can’t even think of trying to write down their names), I must must must remember to cherish my time with her. Not to mourn...or at least not too long each time their face or name comes to mind.

 

Cherish every single moment, because nothing is life is permanent. Don’t think, “I’ll make up for that tomorrow,” because tomorrow might never come. Either for them...of for you.

 

Don’t hang up the phone in anger. Don’t go to sleep on anger. Don’t do it!

 

That doesn’t mean you can’t be upset. But forgive them.

 

Forgive yourself.

 

Glory in every single minute you have. Though hold it all with an open hand. Trying to grasp onto something that is gone is destructive to your heart and mind and well-being.

 

LOVE someone ALL THE MORE for knowing that you have today, right now, this moment, this second. As they sing in the musical, “Rent...”


There is no future – there is no past

Thank God this moment’s not the last

There’s only us

There’s only this

Forget regret or life is yours to miss

No other road no other way

No day but today

 

Don’t let those lyrics make you sad. Let them fill you with joy. Do not miss out on this moment.

 

I love you Paulle Jung Morvant-Alexander. And l always will. I have been, and always shall be, your friend. Thank you for being my unconditional friend.

 

Namasté and Blessed Be,

BG “Gentle Ben” Thomas

Jan 5, 2024, Entry #005



Lyrics, Rent, Finale B, © Jonathan Larson

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12 Comments


What an awesome and loving tribute to your friend. They say that as long as you are remembered, you are never really gone from this world. How nice of you to keep her with us.

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Thank you for these words.... They mean a lot to me.

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Guest
Jan 05

Marj and Nan We still have a piece of artwork of hers on our wall. Nan knew her better than I did but we are till sad..

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I would love to see a photo of that art! And I am glad that there are other people in the world who know who Paulle was (and is).

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Thank you for sharing your love and pain. She will always be remembered.

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Thank you


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Thank you for sharing your memories of Paulle. What an incredible friendship you two shared!

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Thank you, Lori! <3

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Love, light, and hugs to you my friend. You've told me of Paulle many times. I'm sad I never got to meet her.

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Thank you my friend.


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