For K., Who Was A Better Friend Than I Deserved
I found out yesterday a great friend from years ago passed away. We lost track of each other when he met his wife to be, like what often happens. Her friends became his; she let his old friends know they were no longer needed. She seemed to make him very happy, and he’d been lonely for a long time. It was painful to let him go, but I did out of respect.
We had been thick as thieves once, and I wish I’d been as selfless and kind a friend as he was to me.
Six years ago he was diagnosed with cancer, and four years later passed away. He had no children, which is sad because he would’ve been the best of dads.
A life-long Lutheran, K. embodied the ideal of what a Christian should be: loving, humble, kind, patient, giving, understanding, self-sacrificing, and compassionate. The world is a lesser place without people like him.
The last time we spoke was twenty-three years ago. I called his house one morning because I sensed something was wrong. His wife was cross with me, understandably, but she woke him. I couldn’t logically explain what made me call. We spoke briefly, and that was it. It wasn’t some weird warning about his death that made me pick up the phone, just that something was not right. Probably my subconscious missing him.
What I didn’t say, and what I should have, was to thank him for his friendship, for all the kindness and patience, the frankness, the homemade chicken soup, the laughs and trust, gentle boyfriend choice advice, attempts to cheer my dour Irish heart, and for one surprise birthday party that went very south through no fault of his own.
I love you, K., and hope to see you once again. You made the world a good and hopeful place for being in it. Thank you.