Friday, April 9, 2010

Patrick Swayze Not Perfect, Lovable as Hell in Spite of It


The Time of My Life, a recently released memoir by Patrick Swayze and his wife Lisa Niemi, underscores the fact that Swayze was one in a million even as it addresses his flaws.

Among Niemi's disclosures (from Popeater):

* Swayze was an alcoholic, a condition that peaked in 2006.
"I felt like I didn't have a husband. At the beginning of Al-Anon meetings [for families and loved ones of alcoholics] they say something about sharing the feeling of being unwanted, unloved and alone. That's how I felt. In the early days I encouraged him to seek help, but a big point of Al-Anon is you have to take care of your own life. Trying to change him was a losing battle."

* The couple separated briefly to deal with this issue.
"I hoped it wasn't over. But it was not going to work out if something didn't change. It was tough being with somebody in that much pain, distress and insanity, along with the massive quantities of alcohol that takes everything in its path, sucking it down this black hole. I'd gone through bad times before. But this time he was going completely down and I didn't want to go down with him."

* Swayze was sexually reserved.
"Now I bet someone will pop up and say, 'I slept with him.' I remember going to a movie set and someone saying, 'All he's been talking about is you.' Some rap singers told him how jealous they were of all the women he must have had, and he said, 'Sorry to disappoint you, that's not my thing.' He was quite a prude. I never saw him as sexy. I remember soon after we married I looked at him and was surprised how good-looking he was. He didn't want to be recognized for something as superficial as being a sex symbol."

* On the pancreatic cancer that killed him.
"Some feelings are extreme, some are a general malaise, sometimes it's like someone has poured gasoline on me and set me on fire. A lady who also lost her husband to pancreatic cancer says that it doesn't get better, just more bearable. I want to repaint some rooms in the house, but can't decide on the paint. It's that kind of lethargy. If I get one thing accomplished in a day, I'm happy."

This sort of gritty, real love story doesn't seem to happen too much in the celeb world. It's a tragedy that it had to end ... but a great message to those of us questioning whether romantic love does in fact exist.