Friday, March 20, 2009

Don, You Will Be Missed... Good By My Friend

This past early Monday morning (a few weeks ago) a neighbor/friend had a heart attack. He had it while asleep and when the paramedics got to him he was flat-lined. They revived him, but he lost his battle for life last night at about 10pm.

You see, in our small complex a few of us neighbors get together during the warmer days in front of our place and partake of fine food, fine wine, and fine beer; we talk about everything but poetry (except during the Cowboy Poetry Festival). Don was part of these festivities of communal living, he was a great guy and someone who kept me focused on states’ rights. You see, we had many things in common politically; he was a Libertarian at heart but knew that his vote would not affect the process unless he voted Republican.

Don was a single father, for the most part, he leaves behind a boy that looked to his dad as his rock. Good or bad, little James knew Don in the most precious way a small boy can in their arrangement. Don also leaves behind his boy’s mother who was very involved in both their lives, and will continue to be in little James life. Through a previous marriage, Don also leaves behind daughters, as well as his mother. It is almost comical that this true and tried atheist was so proud of his daughter going to the Vatican and being baptized by the Pope. It is a high honor indeed, but Don was so proud... you could see the parental “glee” come out. He sent articles, such as the following:

Feb 21, 2009 (The Modesto Bee - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Heidi Sierras won't be hiding colored eggs on Easter for her four children this year. Instead, the 29-year-old Ceres woman will be in Rome to be baptized by Pope Benedict XVI.

"It's hard to put into words. It's almost like I'm going to be baptized by Jesus himself," she said. "It's an incredible feeling." Each year, the pope chooses seven people representing the world's continents for the baptism service that takes place in St. Peter's Basilica on the Saturday evening before Easter Sunday.

Sierras, who worships at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Modesto, will represent North America. About 40 people, including the Rev. Joseph Illo and Stacy Phillips, Sierras' instructor in the Catholic faith, will travel to Rome to share in her baptism and to receive Holy Communion from the pope....

He sent video links as well. This reminds me, I will miss all his emails on every topic one can imagine, from humorous videos to jokes, even the risqué. I would have no qualms in opening them up, as, I was sure they were thoroughly scanned for viruses and spyware (inside joke). I would bounce computer questions off him and he would come over to offer computer assistance whenever asked.

He was healthy, he jogged, was into martial arts, etc. I just wish I was more assertive in my pre-evangelism with him. That being said, if a person is insistent about his or her non-belief, there is only so much one like myself can do. I continued to enjoy his company and talks about politics after everyone else would pack up and go inside. He will be missed.

I ask that anyone who reads this will say a prayer for Don’s family that surrounds him, especially the precious little 10-years old boy he leaves behind. I pray that there is peace, guidance, and community in the coming together under such horrible circumstances.