I awoke to this text from a reader of mine:
I think I just put “Andrew Breitbart” into Google and clicked on a link to Michelle Malkin’s site to see the news. I couldn’t believe it, so I emailed our mutual friends the Larrys: Larry O’Connor and Larry Solov, asking if it could really be true. Larry O’Connor replied with a single word: “true.”
I threw up a post that said in part:
Rest in peace, buddy. I want to give you a proper tribute, but I can’t muster it. All I see is the faces of the laughing jackals in my mind’s eye and I want to throw up.
I’m going to go stand in the shower and see if maybe this is a bad dream somehow.
It wasn’t a bad dream — nor was my vision of the jackals. But I am not going to focus on those people today.
Speaking of dreams, I dreamed about my dad last night. We were all sitting around a table, I think at a cabin in Big Bear (which he never visited). He wasn’t doing so well and he said to all of us: “The time has come. I want to say goodbye to all of you.” We all started to protest: he shouldn’t be giving up, he had time left, etc. But he was very calm and confident about it, and I decided he was right. It was time to say goodbye. I decided to give him a hug, but as I started to get out of my chair and stand up, I woke up.
I wish I could have slept just ten more seconds. I closed my eyes again and tried to recapture the moment, but it didn’t work.
I never got the chance to say a proper goodbye to Dad. The last time I saw him, he was being wheeled out of my childhood home on a stretcher. He had spent the night sleeping sitting up, battling congestive heart failure, and Mom called paramedics in the morning because he was doing so poorly. I had to leave town shortly afterwards and couldn’t visit him, but when I talked to him on the phone later he sounded like he was doing much better. At the end of the phone conversation we said goodbye, but it wasn’t a proper goodbye.
I guess last night my brain was trying to give me the chance to say one. I went to sleep thinking about Andrew and his last night on Earth, and woke up thinking about my Dad’s.
I never got a chance to say a proper goodbye to Andrew, either.
I’ll spend tonight in the company of people who knew Andrew, at the same Santa Monica home where I last saw him, on February 4, 2012. It was a wonderful night. People were wishing Andrew a Happy Birthday, as he had just celebrated the day three days earlier. The last people to leave were me, Andrew, and our friend Roman Genn, the artist. The three of us stood around for a good hour at the end of the night with the host, Dale Launer, and had a wide-ranging and often hilarious conversation. As I said in my memorial post last year:
The discussions are off the record as a rule, but I’ll break the rule to note this: Andrew said he loved his wife and kids in that conversation.
That’s the absolute truth.
This has to be a very difficult day for Susie, whom I have met, and for all of Andrew’s kids, whom I never had the pleasure of meeting. My thoughts are with them all on this sad day.
I’ve never been much for the “we are all Breitbart” meme. Andrew was Andrew, and he was unique. But I understand what people mean by it. In addition to having incredible energy, and being very funny and engaging, he cared little about day to day politics. He was about battling political correctness and the dishonest media, and about changing the culture in education and other ways.
On a day when ghouls who didn’t know him write nasty diatribes about him, I’m going to remember the person Andrew actually was. And I think he would have liked to have a video like this posted in his memory:
Rest in peace.