So yesterday was Mickey Krupa’s birthday. I think he would have been 43? I thought about sharing another photo here of Mick, one in the last weeks of his life. Cancer had robbed him of his mobility, dexterity and hair. He was in a sip and puff chair, and looked very different than he does here.
But then I rethought that. Mick was one of the least vain people I knew, but the objective fact of the matter was that he was beautiful. Mick would truly stop ski traffic as people would stop and stare when he went past.
That smile you see? Rarely left his face, even when he got mad. Mick and I always had a friendly relationship, he was just that way with everyone. But I always felt he had an extra measure of something for me, perhaps because of my position. Women in positions of leadership really catch it sometimes. I think he knew this so well because he was married to one.
Liz, his soulmate, is a goal oriented, tough as nails attorney. Look for Liz Krupa to be on a federal bench someday. When that happens, be glad, because she is a great example of lawyerly compassion and brilliance.
In the weeks after Chris died, Mick and I developed a special relationship. I think he was looking for some reassurance that when he left that his precious people would be OK. I actually got to drive him to treatment once in that fabulous red convertible, and we had some great talks. Mick told me more about his background, and I told him things about mine I have never told another soul.
It was a funny thing that I pondered a lot. Some men invest a lot in the way they look, or the things they can do, and are devasted when they lose those things. Mick got intensely frustrated to be sure, it’s hell not to be able to dial a phone, for example. But at the heart of it, when Mick and I would talk, those things really didn’t matter.
He was also one of those unique men who was safe. Even when he was able bodied, and by everyone’s standard a total hottie, I felt completely safe spending time with Mick. A large part of that was his total devotion to Liz. I won’t tell you all of the intimate details of our talks, but I did ask him once if he ever thought of cheating on Liz. Here’s what he said, and sorry of you’re offended. Mick doesn’t get censored:
“Shiiit! Are you kidding? We have a scissors drawer at home. She would cut my nuts off and store them in a drawer!”
I laughed my head off on that one, partly because it was true, and partly because I could see the intense love he had for his wife. That made him completely and utterly safe.
During the last weeks of his life, Mick also became a bit of a confidante for me. The occasional visits we had were very much a give and take, which was very Mick. He would ask about me or the kids, and we would talk. I can barely tell you how much I miss that.
Some of you might be wondering why I haven’t written about that kind of give and take with Chris. Easy, I wouldn’t know where to stop.
Mick, during the few short years, and then few short months we were closer, well, that was a precious jewel.
Miss you much, Mick.