Thursday, February 2, 2017

To TJ, with Love

TJ - I wish I'd told you how much I appreciate you last week. But I didn't. And now I can't. At least not now. Not here, in person.

I also wish I could write something beautiful and inspiring and a fitting tribute to the friend you always were to me and to Nathaniel and to so many others. Words won't do that job, though. Plus, it's hard to write with a lovely flow when your mind and emotions are going in so many direction.

Pictures from trips together and memories from those trips make me laugh and cry at the same time. I'll always laugh about banana pudding milkshakes, an odd cackle from behind us at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, your ever-reliable way of bringing out a smile in photos, and so many other things. But it's still hard for me to grasp that we'll never again stand side by side on riverbank admiring a mountain landscape God crafted, have dinner together at a writer's event, or even just stand together trading stories.

I know you're where there's no sickness or sadness, and that thrills me, but I'll miss you so, and it saddens me to think about Kathy and Ron and other friends and coworkers who are used to having you in their lives on a daily basis.

You always took time to say thank you, asked how you could help me, showed genuine concern for me and my family, made me smile (made everyone smile), represented your company exceptionally well... The list could go on and on.

I guess what I'm trying to say -- and what I wish I'd said before -- is that I'm very thankful for your friendship and that I love you.

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