Sunday, March 18, 2018

To Gary...

Life rarely prepares us for the inevitable time when someone we love passes away.  Each passing reminds us that no one is immune and that even though time soothes the pain, it never really goes away.

Such is the case with my old dear friend Gary. I've known Gary, his wife Susie and daughters Renee and Kristin since 1975. Gary and I hit it off immediately and shared many interests including storytelling.  No one I'd ever met in my life could spin a yarn like Gary. His Midwest charm would have won over the hardest audience.

Another reason we hit it off so well was his love of fishing. Surprisingly, we actually only fished together a handful of times over the years.  We always talked about it. Maybe because we were both still young, working and raising kids, it never happened as much as we would have liked.

Or maybe it was because when he wasn't working, he was in his shop building his next handmade canoe. I was awestruck the times I would visit him in his shop while he painstakingly worked on one of his works of art.

I did have the opportunity one time to go out in one of Gary's canoes. Gary suggested we take it out to Barr Lake State Park and spear carp.  Remember, this was before carp were considered game fish. Gary had made special handcrafted spears for the occasion and off we went. I wasn't too keen on doing anything involving carp, but I found out that the sport was really doing it without tipping the canoe and going for a swim. We never speared a carp, we just spent a beautiful day outdoors laughing and drinking beer.

The thing that was always amazing to me is that we would often not see or talk to each other for years as we each went on with our lives and when life threw us back together, it was if no time had passed. The only things that changed were the heads starting to show gray or in my case didn't show at all. We could pick up right where we left off.

My friend Gary passed away last week. I'm sad because I will miss him and the joy he brought to my life. I'm sad because he leaves a beautiful family behind to never hear his laugh again.  Rest in peace my friend and we'll meet again...time will not matter.