Losing a Friend

We lost a friend yesterday.

He was a grumpy old man, and I loved him. I can't remember when we met him and his forever patient wife, it's almost like he was just there the whole time.

My husband belongs to the Shriners. The Shriners are a volunteer group that raises money for their group of hospitals. The percentage of young guys is much smaller than the group of old guys, so my husband wound up with a best friend almost 35 years older than he is. It's not all that surprising, from all accounts my husband has been 80 since he was born. We met our friend through the Shrine.

Our friend was a vocal supporter and an even more vocal critic. He didn't suffer fools and never hid an opinion. Politically we stood very far apart, but ultimately we just wanted what was best for our country and province, and had different ideas on what and who that meant. 

We spent a lot of time together at Shrine functions. Dinners, dances, BBQs, parades. We traveled together to conventions and golf tournaments. None of those events are going to be the same now. I called him Captain Stubing (he liked to wear a crisp white golf shirt matched with crisp light khakis), and he pretended to hate it. He took us to Hoover Dam and made us take the tour. He was a fierce defender of his friends and I knew that no matter what went on I could count on him to back me up. 

He loved his family, fiercely. He loved to tell us about his kids, and their kids. When he came for New Year celebrations he would take the leftover seafood home for his beloved "seagulls". These were his grandkids that lived upstairs at his house and could sniff out the good stuff and come down to steal it. 

More than anything though, he loved his wife. He loved in her such a way that it was apparent that ultimately she was the only one that mattered to him. Her happiness was what he lived for. He lived as a great example of devotion and how to treat your spouse. 

None of the events are going to be the same now. I will miss making him laugh until he has to take his hanky out to wipe his eyes. I will miss his tongue click of pretending irritation when I bug him. I will miss him telling me to stop taking pictures when I am only visible from the eyes up.  I will miss him. 

Losing someone you love is never easy, it makes me want to close myself off from everyone so I can't be hurt. I know that isn't the answer. That is not what the people who have passed would want. Every loss (of which there has been so many lately) reminds me to be grateful for who I have in my life. The last time I saw this friend I told him I loved him as we hugged goodbye. I am glad that I got to tell him. 


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