A week later, I’m still at a loss for adequate words to describe a deep personal loss.

One week ago today someone very dear to me and a lot of other folks

Damn. A friend died. I felt gutshot when I learned of his passing. My day went to hell, and there was no saving it.

I put off posting anything here because my thoughts were so scattered, and emotions were all over the place. I grieved and, at the same time, I raged. What the eff happened? How could this happen? WHO’s TO BLAME?!?! When I’m like that it’s usually best to step back and let things settle a bit. Big mistake. Now I’m at an emotional impasse. The spirit is aggrieved and will not be denied, but having been denied refuses to come forth willingly.

In the first few days that followed, most of what I felt was grief. I wrote a few words here and there expressing my sorrow, sharing my gratitude for him, and thanking others for the thoughts they shared. Not much mattered. I remembered to eat, bathe, go to work, but all else went into the ‘next week’ category.

Lex. You weren’t the first of family and friends to die, some tragically, but yours is the first in a very long time to have affected me so deeply. I’m still passing through waves of tearful sadness. Perhaps the years of witnessing death have helped to temper this time somewhat, but still… My friend and brother, gone too soon. Gathered up to his fathers, embraced in the arms of his “dear, sainted Ma”, out for walks with his departed dog Lady. Reunited with friends and fellow aviators to retell their stories. Looking forward to new experiences and learn those things that await.

Lex bore his soul to us in so many ways, and, in so doing, invited the rest of us to do so. And, oh how we shared. We laughed, we learned. We played together, and we prayed together. We fought, we fussed, and, in short, we acted just like siblings gathered around the dinner table. Nothing was too sacred to talk about. Bring your soul, however imperfect, for to share. No one was above being teased or made fun of, but we soon made up. That’s how it works over at Neptunus Lex.

Such was the wondrous nature of Neptunus Lex, alias CAPT Carroll LeFon (RET). Pilot, Poet, Pundit, Pal. Oh, and Purveyor of plane pr0n. Ever with the plane pr0n, that one. {sigh} One has to wonder at times where a fellow like Lex could find the capacity to keep the rest of us so near. We were never very far away. We came unbidden, and he welcomed us. From time to time he would “leave the keys in it” and depart for a few days. Rambunctious sort that we are, yet we managed to clean up after ourselves. The old adage “Whatever happens at Neptunus Lex, stays at Neptunus Lex” remains firmly in place. Don’t ask, cause we ain’t sayin… 🙂

Others have written eloquently of Lex’ life and times, one even of his dog, Gus. Thanks for that, Kris. Steeljaw Scribe wrote a sterling tribute to Lex, and shipmate AW1 Tim’s remembrance touched me with how deeply we love Lex. Through their remembrances we are reminded that Lex loved us as we loved him. Not one inference of hero worship will be found throughout, but, instead, many outright declarations of love and friendship…and kindness and sacrifice.

Who writes about their dogs, and keeps you captivated throughout the post? Lex did. Then, and spoken of oft, there is his beloved wife, The Hobbit. His anchor and the smartest move he ever made…marrying her. Married up, he did, and he hesitated not to tell you so. Between the two of them they created three cherished examples of what will become their legacy. The eldest, SNO (Son Number One), now a Naval Officer and Aviator in his own right. Beaming pride at the mere mention of the young man. Next, The Biscuit, in Lex’ own words “My beloved daughter”, which, somehow says more than this writer’s feeble words could add upon. Finally the youngest daughter, The Kat, who Lex, in more or less these words, declared “had learned that I was hers to command”. Husband and Father. All other hats on the rack never could mean nearly so much as those two to Lex.

Ever the one to challenge us, even now Lex challenges us in death. How, you ask? Well, it’s like this…who’s gonna do the bloggin? Whisper? Maybe a little, but, man, dude’s OpsO in a FA-18 squadron. Like he’s got a ton of free time. Sneaky bugger, Lex. “Tag. You’re it!” he’s saying to all of us posers with blogs. {sigh} Well, alright then. Time to step up, and step up we shall! You know what this means, though? I’m going to have to learn ‘Tags’. Durned Tags!

So, time to end off and post. For strength! For Courage! For Lex!


About Mongo
Mongo only pawn in game of life.

7 Responses to A week later, I’m still at a loss for adequate words to describe a deep personal loss.

  1. Michelle says:

    Nicely said, Mongo. It comforts me so much to be surrounded by such a large group who pretty much share all the same feelings, all the emotions. Because people in my “real world” (with the exception of my youngest who pretty much grew up with Lex and responded “It’s Lex. ‘Nuff said.”) can’t begin to comprehend the loss.

    I hadn’t thought of it that way, that he left us with the blogging challenge. Makes sense, I suppose he’s my “blog father”, as they say, and I have been way too lax in that regard lately. So I will add that challenge to the other one he left – to live our lives a little bit better, to always make room for others and make them feel genuinely appreciated. Thanks.

  2. Marcus Erroneous says:

    I have to agree with Michele, well said. You’ve captured it well and obviously paid attention when reading Lex’s prose. It shows, the echo of the man reflected in your writing. I’d be proud to call it my own.

    Thanks for sharing your take, it is unique in what is a crowded field. My take is the same, I’ve posted once and owe another even now. To us is passed the torch to carry the light into the world.


  3. Well put Mongo. I managed to get a short post up on my blog about Lex after I found out but I had a hard time composing it, nothing I could think of to say seemed nearly good enough.

  4. OldT6Flyer says:


    Very well done. I started a blog once if you could call it that. Thinking about doing so again. If only for the opportunity to find some deeper connections with my fellow man. Lex showed me it can be done but he set the bar so damn high I’m reminded of my own inadequacies with each remembrance. But I think I need to. For the humanity that’s in it.

  5. AW1 Tim says:

    Well said indeed, my friend.

    The man was more than a leader. He was our friend and mentor. And now, he’s gone.

    That leaves it up to the rest of us to carry on, to keep moving forward. Our Captain might have fallen, but there’s still a mission to complete, and we need to pull ourselves up, wipe the tears away, and get on with it.

    You’ve a good turn of words, shipmate. Thanks for sharing them.


  6. Mongo – thank you. I like the idea that Lex left it up to us; we are (as Snake Eater) an unruly bunch so it would take some fortitude. I suspect many of us feel up for it. Lex’s influence was enormous, I think far moreso than most of us realized. Even within our own lives. He set an example that is hard to follow yet makes us all strive to be better so we can live up to it.

    Lex – made us better people.

  7. ohengineer says:

    Sometimes we didn’t clean up after ourselves soon enough.

    I came for the plane pr0n. 🙂 Why I stayed, who knows, but the place rang bells for all us in some fashion or t’other. Even for that poor curmudgeon Snake Eater. In Snake’s case, though, I think he liked our lemons.

    Many of us are going to disappear, but others of us will make blogs of our won (thinking about it here), and move to harass others. But, I note that there are no others that have the same type of badinage mixed with intellect we had at Lex’s place.

    Incidentally, y’all know me as Quartermaster. Somehow I acquired a WordPress profile using an old tag because Quartermaster was already in use at Gravitar. Now WordPress makes me log in and OHEngineer are what I is.

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