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To the power of Ten

Stars.jpgWhen he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.

I knew that you were going to leave today, Jeff; on this indelible day in our friendship.  I don't know how.  I don't know why.  I just knew.

Our convesation a few weeks ago was short, light, and I think it gave us both what we needed at that time.  Laughter, mutual assurance that through time and miles that everything was going to be fine.  We spoke of setting a time to really get caught up; to have that longer conversation, but I think we both knew at the time that it wouldn't happen.  At least not here.  At least not now.

"I know I shouldn't, but I feel great," you said.  "I didn't before, but now, I'm going to fight this.  I've got options, choices.  They're doing some clinical trials that we're going to look at.  I don't know where it's all going to go, but I know there are things I can do about it."

366478-562199-thumbnail.jpgShe reached out a finger to point at the sky
Leaving me helpless, not knowing why.

Paul wrote those words about Linda, but they could have been written about you.  You have the singularly most inquisitive mind I've ever come across.  I took everything at face value.   I still do.  Your eyes were always skyward, like they were here, when you took pictures of the Comet Hyakutake.   I just found those a second ago when I Googled you.  I remember when you took those.  I'd forgotten. 

You taught me that Tuesday was "Science Times" day at The Grey Lady.  (I took the section home last night, thnking of you, planning to call you this morning to say Happy Anniversary, but knowing that you wouldn't be there.  How did I know?) 

You have a childlike curiosity, a boundless imagination, my friend.  I say "have," because there is no way a force of intellect and spirit like yours could possibly have stopped this morning when your body did.  Oh, the answers you must be learning now.  Oh, the journey you must be taking.

I've pondered before about the mystic powers of Bill Gates' Outlook, specifically whether the Calendar feature can transport you in time.  You always used to tell me how powerful Gates and his PCs were. 

366478-562209-thumbnail.jpgNow I'm wondering whether I can use my Address Book to reach you.   Not to tell you that I love you, which we've both done in word and deed.  But to say, "Hey, when you get a minute, give me a call.  Holy shit, Jeff, what's it like?  Where are you know?  Did your Mom and Dad come to get you?  Tell me what you see."  (Always with the Beatles.  We played all three Anthology offerings constantly in our shared offices... on those blasted Macs that you hated.  I think we both liked the "Oh shit," that Paul let out when flubbing a line in "A Day in the Life," and all the different intros to "Strawberry Fields.") 

And so you've gone.

Maybe you'll find out what really happened in Dallas 43 years ago today.

But I know you and I will never forget what happened 10 years ago today. 

"Sure, hold on, he's on the phone.  I'll get him." I heard you say.

"Uh, buddy, you'd better take this."

It was my wife calling.  She was on her way to the hospital... 3 weeks ahead of schedule.

You were there for the moment.  The one that Ricky Ricardo, Dick VanDyke, Fred Flintstone and every other sticom husband played for slapstick on TV.  The moment I learned that I may have woken up a son, but that by nightfall I'd go to bed as a new Father. 

And this is the hour when we turn out the light.
Nothing but memories burning so bright.
Burning so bright.

Ten years ago today, at 10 am, you took the call for me, and sent me on my way.

This morning I took the call about you, and now with my love, with faith, with thanks, laughter and some tears, Jeffrey, I send you on yours. 

Godspeed, my beautiful friend.  I'll see you again.  We will celebrate my son's birthday tonight; and I will toast our anniversary.  I will toast the stars.

It snowed in Flordia today just after you died.  Near where you live. 

I wonder why.


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