It’s very hard to focus at work today. I hate to say it, but I am glad that one client canceled for my 10 o’clock. About two yesterday afternoon, I got a call from a friend telling me another good friend of mine passed away yesterday morning. It took the wind right out of my sails. His health hadn’t been the best in the last few years but what took him was sudden and most likely not in relation to his illness. I’ve known this man for at least twenty years but the last, I’d say ten years give or take is when we became closer. He was a wonderful man. He taught me so much. He inspired me so much. I spent several overnights at his home hanging out, laughing, drinking and eating good food. They were great times and great respites from when my marriage was going bad and he managed to still make me laugh and divert my thoughts. It makes me sad though to think he died alone. He had found someone before his health took a turn but it was a distant relationship (miles not emotional). When his health started getting bad, the relationship ended. He more than anyone in my opinion, deserved to be happy and have that type of love in his life. I regret not seeing him more often. Once my marriage ended and I was a single parent, the over nights with my friend stopped because I had no sitter and almost no time. I would see him at the recreation events and we’d catch up then. I saw him about a month ago at an event and got several pictures of him. I also got some hugs and short bouts of conversation. It was a busy day. Im glad i got that bit with him, brief though it was. One of the things he use to do was experimental cooking. One weekend I was visiting he was cooking salmon with capers. Then, once cooked, he crushed it up and put it into a cream type alfredo sauce and served it over pasta. As he cooked this meal, he had a blank notebook he’d write down what he was doing so that if it turned out to be very tasty he could repeat it later. When i saw him cooking this meal, i have to admit that inwardly I was kinda thinking the meal looked gross. Then I tasted it and was sorely mistaken. I had a second helping. I was so full but oh my goodness it was tasty. He was so talented. One of thos individuals that suceeded at whatever he attempted, though he use to confess he sucked at counted embroidery. If memory serves me he could sew, embroider, cook, cast in pewter, recreate illuminated manuscripts and pen gorgeous calligraphy, write period texts, research like a fiend any topic accurately, and man did he have panache. He is what I strived to be and never accomplished. I wish I’d had more time. Made more time. Now, there is none. Its heartbreaking. I was in shock when i got the news. I cried a lot and was grateful for my own office for that fact.
On facebook, a friend shared a poem that was written by another friend of hers. Im going to share it here because it makes you think.
by Linda Ellis copyright 1996
I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.
So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?
I wish I’d had more time with him. I was blessed and happy to call him friend. And damn it, I never did get that salmon alfredo recipe.