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Coping with loss through "Magic: The Gathering"

Marjorie LaPrade and David Leavitt
Marjorie LaPrade and David Leavitt
David Leavitt

A recent accident left me without the use of fingers in my right hand. An even more devastating consequence than the damage to my body was that done to my soul. I'd lost the most important person in my life. Marjorie was more than just a lover to me: She was my best friend, confidant, inspirational muse and other half. To quote Terry Goodkind:

Marjorie LaPrade and David Leavitt
David Leavitt

"His heart ached with wrenching agony. She was gone, and it had been his fault." -"Wizard's First Rule" pg. 275

Like so many times in the past, I turned to "Magic: The Gathering" to attempt to cope with my loss through escapism. Even if I wasn't physically capable of playing I could still pour through the thousand of cards memorized in my head, recite flavor texts, brew up new commander decks, try to discover new interactions, and dream up card designs all without leaving bed.

I'd give anything to play this card:

Another Chance
Sorcery (Mythic Rare)
Reset the game to any previous board state.

This card would only work in "Magic Online" as it'd be almost impossible to restore all conditions in a paper game.

It's funny how "Magic" can mirror real life. Sometimes you're dealt the perfect hand and on other occasions you must Paris down to four. Fine tuning your deck and skillful play can help mitigate variance, however there are some times when the odds are just too overwhelmingly in your opponent's favor from the start, despite how good a player you may be.

Some people tend to linger too long dwelling on what went wrong instead of what went right. Regardless of how much time spent playing games, watching television or performing any other activity to attempt forgetting your loss or problems at one point or another you're going to need to face reality. So instead of mourning and dwelling on what went wrong why not remember all the times that went right? It's those good memories which nobody can take away from that you'll have forever (unless you have Alzheimer's).

In my case it's:

  • The first date we had: Meandering about the Museum of Fine Arts, dinner in Harvard Square, drinks and desserts in the North End, walking down the Freedom Trail to Boston Commons, and cuddling together on the Green Line home.
  • Revisiting Umass Dartmouth to see all the changes, sunset at Gooseberry Island, getting take out from an Indian place and laughing our asses off to "Dr. Horrible's Sing Along".
  • The look of astonishment on your face every time anything outrageous happened while snuggling up to "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," which is about every other minute.
  • Countless Karaoke nights to "Rockband", "Rocksmith", and "Bandfuse".
  • Cider and St. Patrick's Day Parade. It's good to know we're protected by so many "Ghostbusters".
  • Exploring and sunset at Fort Phoenix.
  • Bonfires with your friends.
  • Our French photo shoot, complete with a beret and candy cigarettes.
  • Late summer night dinners on your porch with Christmas lights, most notably "fancy pizza and cider".
  • Your rampant use of the word dichotomy.
  • Wandering around the waterfalls and red barn.
  • Relaxing drinks and lunch right on the ocean in Falmouth Heights on a perfect summer day.
  • Getting lost on the streets of Salem, finding ourselves at a lighthouse on a long pier, splitting frozen lemonade and the best coconut ice cream that either of us have ever had.
  • Walking through Boston Public Gardens and along the Charles River before heading to Newbury Street for Indian food.
  • Seeing horses at Salisbury Beach, playing skiball, and getting raspberry ice cream with your best friend and sister.
  • Lucking out on free drinks and finding loads of tickets at King Richard's Faire.
  • Roommate dinner nights: Cooking bacon lasagna, stir fry, burritos, and all the other types of food. Just please don't ever tell anybody about the calzones - they were and absolute disaster.
  • Relaxing on Hampton Beach, perusing the boardwalk, and fireworks.
  • Getting you to write and editing the prose as it flowed out of your fingers without any effort. Can I have some?
  • Us always ordering a smorgasbord of appetizers instead of entrees whenever we ate out.
  • All our endless Netflix and pizza nights, watching entire seasons of shows in a single day while holding each other tight: Game of Thrones, True Blood, Flight of the Concord, Battlestar Galactica, X-files, Farscape, Supernatural, Futurama and more.
  • Celebrating your promotion.
  • Your first media pass: The Nino's Music Festival, and stumbling into friends while we were there who came because of your article.
  • Running into K-flay at a coffee shop right before the concert and then interviewing her afterwards.
  • The macaroni and cheese fiasco.
  • Seeing the Dresden Dolls, Amanda Palmer, and Neil Gaiman, my car breaking down but then us having awesome butternut squash raviolis and drinks at a fancy place in Davis Square which we wouldn't have done otherwise.
  • Visiting your grandma on numerous occasions, her hugging me and making your blush when she asked about great-grandchildren.
  • We never figured out what it was but that thing we both thought was fantastic at Soul of India.
  • Making prank phone calls to celebrities we know. "We're not worthy!"
  • Paper rose.
  • You making fun of me while I perform ballet for work.
  • Cuddling up to "Princess Bride", Neverending Story", and all the other movies.
  • Apple picking, cider, feeding goats and making pie.
  • Seeing a double rainbow during a sunset in Boston Public Gardens before getting sushi and heading to the Wang Theatre for the Zelda Symphony. That dress looked gorgeous on you.
  • Fancy dress party.
  • Skipping dinner for ice cream: Raspberry with chambord.
  • Jazz and drinks at the Top of the Hub in the Prudential.
  • The most indulgent breakfast we've ever had in front of a fireplace at The Duck and Bunny in Providence.
  • Thanksgiving with both of our families.
  • Dressing up your cats with ties.
  • The concert at the Hard Rock Cafe, and concert with Sarah at that hole in the wall place where we saw a guy break his leg.
  • Chin's
  • You lying to me about that awful cheese stuffed tomatoes I made. At least the honey glazed carrots were good.
  • "Completing the symmetry" as you called it. Discovering Monet had a fascination with eastern culture, getting stuck in Harvard Square during a "police action" on the MBTA and taking shelter from the snow storm in a cozy bar with hot mulled apple cider and hot chocolate.
  • Taking care of each other when we were both sick.
  • Countless other treasured moments.

Most of all, I miss that special smile you always gave me and that intoxicating laughter.

So we'll go no more a-roving
so late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
and the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.
- Lord Byron

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