There is more to Kenneth Richard Anderson, my partner, husband and best friend of a decade (2001-2011) than I could ever put on this–or any–page. This computer screen is but a pixel in the millions it would take to merely scratch the surface. As such, this page will be more of an evolution than a definitive.
I’ve long-wondered if I should have a place on my blog for Ken. This space on the internet was somehow mine–something I was able to be in control of…in contrast to the last couple of years with Ken where we rolled with the punches cancer threw at him. For a long time I wasn’t ready to see him here. The final nudge came while being lost in my thoughts or Kallie’s antics when I first passed Helen Zatterberg Park near our apartment on the north side of Chicago. Like this tiny little park, commemorating a woman who did so much for the neighborhood and the city, it occurred to me that having a place where I, you–anyone–could stop by and get just the tiniest glimpse of the man I–and so many others–loved so deeply was the right answer.
We first met on a cold winter’s night on Friday, January 12, 2001 in a little bar I’d recently discovered in my neighborhood (also on the north side of the city). But because of some miscommunication, we didn’t get the chance to talk much that night. I remember being heartbroken that I’d met this handsome stranger named Kenan (his acting and would-be professional SAG name) and it hadn’t worked out. March 23, 2001 was the next time I went back to that bar, trying to forget the lackluster result of my previous visit in January. And as soon as I sat down, and the crowd parted like the Red Sea, there he was, sitting at the end of the bar. He came back every Friday night in hopes of seeing me again. He waited for me. And after we met that night, that was it. We were never apart again during his life.
Ken was a prolific writer, an accomplished actor/improviser/voice-over artist, a doting uncle, and a “do-er”. I often referred to him as our family “MacGuyver” because of his drive and ingenuity in solving problems. He was a performer. An entertainer. He loved to morph is silky voice into the craziest and funniest characters that have ever existed. He was a loving husband and a willing partner-in-crime. He was the truest of friends–loyal and giving–and remains a source of bravery and encouragement for me (and others, I suspect) to this very day.
the “ken-do dictionary” was a gift I assembled for him with the help of our friend and family for his 45th–and unfortunately final–birthday.
I’ve collated some photos from throughout our life together. They’ll change from time to time, but are representative of the joy we shared in our life together. There was a time when looking at pictures of him was something I did alone, bereft, dazed. But when I look at these photos now–and all the others I have–I’m taken back to each moment, and the warmth that pervades every one of them. They make me happy (with perhaps the tiniest pinch of grief.) They are matter-of-factly, part of my past, but only in as much as they propel toward the future, with his love tucked firmly alongside my heart.
He was the silliest of creatives, singing me this song when I got into the car one day to deliver him a Slurpee from 7-11. Please enjoy the “Poop Your Pants” song. It’s featured in this blog.
I’m an infinitely better man for knowing and loving (and being loved by) this richly textured, incredibly talented, giving man.