Photo of Phillip F. Finch by Robin Chapman.
I learned tonight that someone I once loved very much died in February. He was the writer Phillip F. Finch. Though we were married for just eight years, and that was many years ago now--those were happy years for me. I expected we would be together for a lifetime.
But it was not to be.I knew just a few weeks after I met him that we would be married. The French call it a coup de foudre and it certainly felt like that. Ka-Boom!
He was a former newspaper reporter--sportscaster Barry Tompkins leaned over and whispered in my ear: "Boy wonder. Writing his second novel and not even thirty yet," when, with a group of other news people, I met Phil on that Christmas night in San Francisco.
He was indeed working on his second novel, and, with all the love I soon felt for him, I took the photograph at the top of this piece. I'm no photographer--so it was sheer luck and love at work. But it was good enough that he used it as the author's photo on that very book.
I put it away for a long, long time and only took it out again tonight.
Life does all sorts of things to people and for many reasons--not necessary to relive tonight--he and I parted. I don't suppose I ever really stopped loving him. I did finally stop hurting. Many years later, I remember so many good times we had.
I'm am very, very, sorry he died so young--he was just 63--of colon cancer. He was divorced from his third wife, and died at the home of his sister.
In the end, I realized he was a charmer--someone so unsure of who he was, he rambled through life in search of something he couldn't find, and, sadly, devastating many who trusted him along the way. Charmers can do that.
But I've been the lucky one. Lucky to be living the life I'm living now, in spite of the turnings in the road that brought me here. Our routes are many and various and sometimes it feels as if they take us places in spite of ourselves.
At his best, Phillip was talented, and bright, and witty, and fun, and a boon companion. No need now to say what he was like at other times. I pray he Rests in Peace.
Robin and Phillip. Long ago, and far away ...
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