cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
This will likely be the last of my Blogs about my friend John. He passed peacefully with his loved ones by his side at about 11:00AM today, Wednesday, November 21, 2007. He frankly wished that he wouldn't see another Thanksgiving Day, and as late as last Saturday we talked about how imminent that day was. John received the answer to his prayers and has gone on to a better place.
John continued to teach me much right up to the very end. He fought his battle with cancer with a dignity, strength and resolve that I was amazed to see. I am not sure I'll be able to follow in his foot steps when that time comes for me, but I will have no excuse if I don't.
John and I enjoyed cigars, and we actually met at our favorite cigar store, Metro Cigars in Germantown. Lately, I was seldom seen at Metro since my time was spent with John, puffing a cigar and reminiscing, kidding around and engaging in some very serious discussions. We managed to solve a few of the world's problems, or so we thought, even as he suffered quietly.
His hospice care was provided by the great people at Horizon, and he had come to know Tina and Maria and others as part of his extended family. Dr. Lewis was John's physician and went many extra miles helping John to avoid as much pain as was possible. John had the ability to cause people to want to help.
John and I agreed that there are no coincidences in this life. Things happen for which we may not have an explanation, but someday we will come to understand why. We agreed that we bring most of the ugly stuff on all by ourselves even though we might initially blame others. John impressed upon me the importance of 'making amends' and that is something I need to continue working on even in his absence. Or he'll find a way to remind me!
John blessed me with his friendship and I hope I blessed him with mine.
John's wife Cynthia and his daughter Angie were able to be with him as he passed on. They are mourning as are many others, but we are all thankful for having had John in our lives even if for too short a time.
And now, we take up our respective journeys without John's physical presence. But he will be with each of us, helping us over a rough patch, reminding us to be humble, and applauding our victories.
He truly made lemonade out of every lemon he encountered along life's pathway. Failure was simply there to strengthen a person and make us wiser for the next opportunity.
I am very thankful on this Thanksgiving Day for the gift of John, and I know I'm not alone. John touched hundreds and hundreds of people directly, and most of those in turn have touched many others. That was part of John's magic. It was like a 'pyramid scheme'...a little inside humor for we John lovers.