Aeyn’s Obituary

From the Arizona Daily Star:

EDWARDS-WHEAT, Aeyn, Aeyn’s lungs gave out on January 3, 2011 just four days shy of his 31st birthday. His last four and a half years contained more pain that anyone should suffer in a lifetime—the death of his father, William Wheat, the tragic and sudden death of his life partner, Timothy Morris and his own three and half year battle with leukemia and graft versus host disease. He lived a brief but full and happy life, right up until the end. Even at his sickest, he continued to bring laughter and joy to his many friends. He enjoyed travel, music, intellectual pursuits, but especially the company of his many friends. He was so grateful to have his life extended by the donation of stem cells from his beloved sister, Rebekah Smith and the wonderful care from the doctors and nurses at the Cancer Center. Aeyn was born in Colorado Springs January 7, 1980 and lived and travelled many places. He studied and worked at The University of Texas and later at The University of Arizona where he majored in Philosophy and Spanish reflecting two of his loves. His friends will miss his intense philosophical discussions and his vast knowledge of Latin America. Aeyn was a brilliant conversationalist who could talk to anyone about any topic and always provided the best informed and most interesting analyses. Anyone who met him knew immediately what a very special mind and very special person he was. He took pride in living a simple life, and especially loved the outdoors, his garden, and his bicycle. He met his challenges with grace and humor as reflected in an essay he posted on his Facebook page: “Today, I biked up to the “Cancer-Be-Gone”® Arizona Cancer Center for my now again twice-a-week visits, wherein I give 6 tubes of “Super-Aeyn-Blood” and chat it up with the nurses (I keep asking this one nurse out, but she says she can’t date patients – bummer indeed!).…about a year ago, a nurse started biking sometimes too. So, every now and then, her bike and my bike would hang together at the bike racks. Lord only knows what kind of mischief they’ve gotten into while she and I have been inside doing our stuff.… for the first time that I’ve biked there, I arrived to find three (yes, THREE) other bikes at the bike racks! Boy, was Danny (my bike) excited, as now she could get to hang with some other cool bikes.…While chatting with my gang of nurses, I mentioned the new bikes. I was told that a woman, in her mid-30s, who had been diagnosed with lymphoma (another blood cancer like mine) a couple of months ago, had heard about me and how I always bike to the “Cancer-Be-Gone”® Center, even for chemos and bone-marrow biopsies, and she was inspired by that and decided to do it too..…So, Blessed Be, to the Robins of the world, struggling with the sadness of the new disease and finding a little something that she can do to keep on kicking ass! And, I must say, I am proud of myself. Some days I bike up there and am tired and discouraged. But, her encouragement today was really nice to hear, and gave me another little extra “umph” to keep going.” Aeyn leaves behind his mother, Mary Welch and his stepfather, Gerald Welch; his two sisters, Rebekah Smith and Deborah Wheat and his grandmother, Billie Wheat whom he visited frequently in Nashville, always eager to help her, even as his own struggles grew insurmountable. He was a kind and gentle soul who deeply touched everyone he met. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to any organization that Aeyn would have supported. We will celebrate his short but very special life Sunday, January 9, 2011 from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the home of Terry and Dianne Horgan, 940 N. Bentley, Tucson. We hope to see his many friends there. Breathe easy at last, Aeyn, we love you. Arrangements by ANGEL VALLEY FUNERAL HOME.

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Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

Consider this post an invitation, an invitation to comment and collaborate ~ In Solidarity, JE

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