Sunday, October 19, 2008

Memorial to a good man

  I awoke this morning around 5 am to a my phone ringing. Not quite awake yet, I answered. The first thing I heard was the distressed voice of my very close friend Kym. Before my confusion got a chance to clear she spat out the heartbreaking news.
  To go back in time a bit I feel I should speak about our past. I met Kym through mutual friend, Ellen, about 7 years ago. Everything between her and I happened very naturally and, before long, we were in a relationship and traveling the world together. Those good times were compounded when we returned to the states and I met Kym's family. A wonderful group of 2 sisters, her mother, and her father. The second I walked through the door I was greeted with the warmest of regards which, considering the circumstances of steeling their beloved daughter and taking her to far off places, was a big surprise to me. We were all instantly friends. They, without any pre-requisites, invited me into their home like I was already part of the family. A main staple to this family and to Kym's life in general was her father, Michael. This man was not only truly loved and respected by his family, but by the community as well, as he involved himself deeply in the business of helping others that are less fortunate. I will never forget that first evening I met Michael and his parting words to me that night. Keep in mind I was a long haired, care free, 20 year old traveler. A that point in my life I never expected to meet a girlfriend's father and have him accept me so easily and with such an open heart. As I was on my way out the door that evening he stopped me, shook my hand, looked me in the eye, and said "thank you for taking care of my daughter" 
  Over the years many things have changed. Kym and I broke up eventually. We found ourselves in other relationships as well. Nothing changed with me and Michael. Every time I saw him I was always so amazed and inspired at how open he was. Even years after Kym and I's break up he still made me feel like a part of his family. 
  So, in the early hours of this morning, when I heard the words from Kym's shaky voice that her father had died from a massive heart attack... I simply did not know what to do, say, think, feel. Fuck that's heavy. I think for, my part, eventually I will be okay. The thing that truly and deeply breaks my heart is this; What about Kym, her sisters, and her mother? Michael was the life blood for those women and to know that he's left them to deal in a world without him makes me feel like the earth has been kicked off it's axis. That I cannot deal with. 
  There are so many things I want to say, but the thing I want to say most is to Michael himself; Michael, thank you for being a truly good man. 

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