Three years ago a dear friend was diagnosed with cancer, last night he passed away. It was a tough battle that we thought he'd won when he went through chemo the first time. Well, all of us but him. He knew the truth, and he still didn't let it break him. Hell, he expected it to come back, and when it did, he fought it. In the end, though, he expected to beat it one more time. Unfortunately, this time death was a tougher opponent than even he could master.
He was the best friend my husband had, and a good friend to me as well. He was the one I went to when life around here got too ludicrous, because he would help me laugh at things when I was too close to see humor in anything. When I was one step away from going screaming chicken on the idiots around me, his boisterous cajoling made me see how they weren't worth the effort.
Boisterous... yeah, that's one word for him. He was one of those guys you either loved or hated. Some people called him rude, obnoxious (and worse). Then again, he wasn't a huge fan of those people either and called them names I can't repeat on the blog. Thinking about it now, the reasons other people had for not liking him are probably some of the same reasons I have for liking him.
I can't give too many more details about him without giving away my identity and location, but suffice it to say, he was one hell of a person. Always quick with an insightful comment or a stinging barb (where it was deserved), he was the kind of person who never took shit from anyone and one of the hearty few who stuck to his principles even when it was hard to do so.
We lost a good man last night- a man of integrity - and I'm heartbroken. Not just for my husband (who lost his only sounding board for things even I don't quite understand), not just for his wife and son (whose lives are infinitely more difficult now), but for the world. We need men like him, and they are so few that we can't afford to lose a single one.
There are so many things I want to say... but nothing seems sufficient...
Oh damn. I'm going to miss the hell out of you, you ornery old ox. We may not always have seen eye to eye, but thank you for being you, my friend. The world was a brighter and more interesting place while you were here.