It has been a while. A while since we talked, a while since we suited together, a while since we rode together to L.A., seen sights and lived together at your place. Five years since we said goodbye at the airport. One last hug, one last call on the phone. And when I touched down back in Europe, you were not with us any more. No one there to answer the calls. Five years are quite some time, but.. time is relative. Five years ago is also like yesterday. I see you picking Einsteins nose at the observatory, see you enjoying EF on your vacation, see you pronghorning around FC. Even today I see you sitting with me in my car whenever I'm on a longer trip. I miss you. To those who knew you, you were the most altrusitic careing friend imaginable. You wouldn't allow anyone around you be depressed. You helped, cared, and poked and wouldn't leave before everyone was smiling again. You know, I still try to live by that example. To pay back the goodness that you shared so plentyful. But I don't have your secret superpower. I try to help others, I give good advice, I work at cons to make them great experiences for others.. but I step on people's, worse on friends toes by doing so. Where in heaven did you find that talent to make everybody happy ? You seemed like the one person who, given enough time, could change the world into a better place all by your own. Alas, enough time was not given to you. I'm happy for the time we had, the things we did and saw. Still.. .. I miss you.
So, since you loved so much to see everything that happens positive and as a lesson, I'm asking, in your voice: "Now, what have we learned?" I learned that doing a good thing should not be postponed. If you can help a person, if you can settle a quarrel, if you have a chance to enjoy some time with friends or family... do it, and do it now.
...because you can not know if tommorrow that chance or that person still exist.
Thought I'd share this cross post, to put along with the other memories and memorials. Hope no one minds the spam.
5 years ago a friend of mine, Furp, was lost. He was a positive and happy person.
I was in the midst of a dark depression at the time. Dealing with years of self esteem issues, my divorce and the loss of a long time friendship. He taught me to look at the positive. To focus on uplifting and good things. The power of being kind to others.
Every time I logged online to a furry IRC chat we hung out on he always greeted me, made me feel important and that I counted. It lead to us chatting, getting to be friends and I learned from his own upbeat and positive ways how to bring myself back from the ragged edge. Because of Furp I learned you can't just hope for positive things, you have to think that way too, even if it's hard as hell.
I have a reason for hating drunk drivers.
Furp lived more in his few years than most people do in a lifetime. He was upbeat. Saw the good in others. He was a qualified EMT and had served in Iraq savings lives and working IT. And almost everyone who knew him smiled when thinking of him.
Some people have given me a hard time before, over the fact that I forgive people quickly, that I try to see the positive side to things and people even with a lot of the evidence may say otherwise. That I always try to look for an innocent or non-intentional reason for why people may have done what they did to me or to them or friends. That's because of Furp and how I learned from him. I'd rather see and hope for the good, than be convinced everyone is an ass. It may be wrong at times, it may seem silly or blind or foolish at times, but to me, it's the better way.
So take from this what I learned from Furp. Look to the good, the positive. Be kind and show love to others. Forgive, forget and move on - both to others and more importantly to yourself. And please never drive impaired.
So this 5 year anniversary reminded me to post a recent Furp story of mine:
Even though I have moved down to San Diego, I still like taking the Twentynine Palms route to Vegas (as its more scenic and avoids most of the weekend traffic). Every time I go, I stop at Indian Cove Road and Twentynine Palms Highway (where the accident occurred) for a few moments of reflection. About a year ago, after I left the site, I got a text message from someone who I had only meet once and had exchanged numbers. The text message was an old toilet-humorish joke I had first heard from Furp. Seemed way to coordinated to be a simple coincidence, but it turned my frown upside down really fast.
It is... Amazing to me that five years have passed. In some ways it feels like several lifetimes have come and gone and in others, it feels like just the other day, I was sitting in a car with one of my closest friends, nervously practicing our eulogies for him...
Because, in my mind at this point, his life and his death are so completely different from each other that, I cannot see how they have anything to do with each other. It's funny like that... I think of Furp on random occasions and I smile, I will always think of Furp and smile. And today? Today is not the anniversary of when he stopped making us smile, but of the day when we realized, once and for all, how truly special he was and how truly precious the smiles he gave us, really were.
5 years to the day, how long I have missed you. I wonder if I am the same person you knew back then, so many stories to tell of time gone by - I can remember eagerly waiting to get home from work just to tell you stories of my day... Now they'd be crazier than ever, and saltier dips than many did see in a Navy.
I've sailed two oceans since I last spoke, saw a half dozen new countries, made new friends, new enemies, loved again and cried again, had my heart broken again and tried desperately to put together the pieces. Soon I'll be up for a long overdue promotion with just a little bit of luck (well if I ever find enough drive to get off my good for nothing lazy butt!)
I know not what the future holds, bright or grim; but I ever look forward to the day in the future I see you again - it shall come when it comes, willing or not.
This is a question for any of you old timers that knew Furp well back in the earlier days of his time with US Military, the times when he was Navy and away at sea, if any of you can recall such times.
Do any of you know what he initially was doing with the Navy, or what sort of position he worked on ship? I know in his later years he became quite experienced as First Aid and various forms of IT including SysAdmin type stuff, as well as the myriad other things he did over in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rest of bloodiest middle of nowhere.
I find myself through irony and twists of fate switching from Royal Canadian Air Force, to Royal Canadian Navy, having already done a myriad of odd tasks not really at all related to what I'm supposed to be doing on paper. But some idea of Furp's role on ship would be nice to know for when I go off to sea in late October.