I sit here weeping, grief washing over me, trying to make sense of something completely nonsensical. A dear friend is gone, the emptiness left by his passing growing more each day as I realize I will never be in the presence of his quirky, loving and gentle being again.
He would have been 45 at the end of this month. Our friendship would have celebrated 16 years the end of next month. We began as friends, became more for a brief time that eventually evolved into a friendship unlike anything either of us had ever had. Our friendship formed through love, tears, hurt and ultimately compassion and forgiveness, we always found our way back to each other. He was fond of saying that no matter what, we'd always be connected because something in his soul recognized the kindred spirit in mine.
The photo above is from a neighborhood park and it's the last place I saw him 4, maybe 5, weeks ago. We lived in the same area, our neighborhoods butting up against each other. I was walking Starbuck, he was finishing up his run around the park. We embraced, hugging a little longer than normal. Did our souls know it would be the last time? We spoke for a brief 30 minutes and made plans for a real visit again soon. A few more text messages over the next week followed and then life got busy.
And now he's gone.
I'll be taking some time off as I come to terms with my loss but I will return in September with reports from the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle.
I leave you with this: You never know when the last time you see someone will be the last time you see them. Be kind. Be present. Be thankful.