Notable Quotable:

Notable Quotable:

Remember, folks: whenever a woman says "die for me because you are a man," just look her in the eye and say "my body, my choice."

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Good Man Dies

That title should be read, not with dismissal, but with skepticism.  I subscribe to the school of though that recommends viewing with suspicion, anyone who puts an adjective in front of the word "man."  Such adjectives often imply a standard that may not be entirely honest.  I believe that a "good" man is just about any man who believes himself to be good, according to his own carefully considered standards.  There are many men though, who would be considered good by nearly everyone's standards, and my husband was among them.

June 30, 2013 was WolfAlpha's and my 25th wedding anniversary.  It was also the day he died.  He was 58 years old.  Six weeks ago he was working as usual, four weeks ago he saw his doctor to address what he thought was a stubborn case of hay fever, one week ago he received a definitive diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and a few days later he died.  Early the next morning, our son arrived from Afghanistan.  Next week we will bury my husband's ashes beside his parents.

In spite of his flaws, twenty-five years with him was not enough; I've known all along I was lucky to have him.  He was a good man.  When he committed himself to anything, he committed himself fully, but he never let anyone tell him what was worth committing to.  He followed most of the rules because sometimes you have to go along to get along, but he has been known to occasionally follow those rules with open contempt and he never allowed anyone to believe they were putting one over on him.  He had few illusions and his Bullshit Detector was finely tuned - even with me.  Nobody manipulated him without his knowledge and consent.  He was strong, so strong, both mentally and physically.  Perhaps the nickname WolfAlpha was prophetic.  Like many a well-bred and well-trained police dog, he worked at his usual pace until he dropped, never letting a weakness slow him down.  I thank God he knew how to relax and enjoy life as fully, rather than waiting for a retirement that he dared not count on.

As a father he was both stern and affectionate.  He loved his son more than anything on earth, and he told him so often.  He also taught his son to be a man.  He taught his son that being a cog in someone else's machine is a just a part of life, but that being a cog would not define him if he chose to define himself.  WolfAlpha taught his son to define himself.

He taught me the same thing.  I would not be the person I am now if I had not married him.  I was vain and shallow and lacking direction when we married.  I had no idea what I wanted out of life, but he showed me what was worth having, and what was worth being.  And he gave me more than I ever deserved.  We did not have a "perfect marriage" or a "perfect love."  What we had grew stronger in our efforts to overcome its imperfections.

Rest in peace, Conard Brewer McCarley Jr.  I love you and I will miss you.


  1. There are never the right words. I'm very sorry.

    1. Thanks Ami. Your lighthearted and optimistic posts have been a much needed distraction and a comfort for me this past month.

  2. There aren't any words.

    This is a beautiful post and my heart is breaking for you. I'm very sorry.

  3. My sincere condolences. It's good that your son is coming home. God bless you,

  4. He sounds like he was a wonderful husband--and you a wonderful wife. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  5. I'm so sorry. And no, there are no words. About the closest I can ever come is the end of William Cullen Bryant's "Thanatposis"

    "So live, that when thy summons comes to join
    The innumerable caravan, that moves
    To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
    His chamber in the silent halls of death,
    Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
    Scourged to his dungeon, but sustain'd and sooth'd
    By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
    Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
    About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams. "

    You are in my thoughts. This is a deep wound and it will not heal easily, and there will be visible scarring. Wear the scar with pride, because it is the place where something meaninful was excised from your life. Pity those who can lose a husband and have no need to mourn.

  6. Aw Suz, that is sad. I'm sorry to hear this. It sounds like he didn't suffer though, which is a mercy. Be well.

  7. Suz,

    My very sincere condolences to you and your son. 25 years are not enough, indeed.

  8. A good post for your man, Suz. I can only pray for peace for your and your son. I wish I had the words to comfort you and LanceCriminal, but only time will do that for you. Virtual hugs is all I can do right now.

  9. We in the manosphere weep when such a good man goes on his eternal watch. But it is comforting to know that he had a woman "worthy" of him and not one thath sucked the life out of him like so many women do today. You're to be commended for the love and dedication you had for your husband in both his living, and in his passing. I sincerely hope that the passage of time is able to ease your loss.

  10. I am sorry for your loss, yet I can offer this.

    I Thessalonians 4
    13 ¶ But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
    14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
    15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
    16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
    17 then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Cor. 15.51-52
    18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

  11. I've only seen your comments around the Internet before, Suzanne - first time I realized you had a blog - but my heart goes out to you.

    This was a commendable eulogy. I hope that I can one day deserve to have similar words said about myself.

    Be well.

  12. My condolences, Suz. Sorry I can't do anything more than that.

  13. There is nothing anyone can really say other than to offer their condolences. For what it's worth, here's mine. You've written a beautiful eulogy and he will live on in the memories of you and your son.

  14. My deepest sympathies and condolences on your loss.

  15. My deepest condolences to you and your family for your loss.
    I wish I could offer more than words and prayers at this time but you definitely have those and more.

    If you need anything, just contact me and I'll see how we can help.

  16. Suz, I'm so sorry for your loss. We've been in contact for nearly two years now and I didn't think I had it in me anymore to feel this sad. If you need anything, let me know.

  17. Acch, God bless him. I feel for your loss...

  18. Heard about your loss from Bayou Renaissance Man.

    You have my deepest condolences, ma'am.


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