The past few years it seems I am attending a whole lot more funerals than I am attending weddings. I am saying goodbye to so many more friends than I am making. Recently I lost a dear friend, Dwight Vance, who was just 69. On May 9th he would have been 70. He was a huge man with a huge heart. His love for magic was only surpassed by his love of music and Janet, his wife. I hated to see a man with such strength and power fade away. Disease is such a terrible way to die.
I watched my Father die slowly over the years before his passing. I watched his body fail him but his mind was sharp. It wasn’t until the pain was so severe that they gave him drugs to ease the pain that also took his memories. I cherished the moments between morphine shots when he would become lucid and share stories a son should never really hear.
I have dear friends right now who are learning the true strength of their Father as he fights a battle with death. A battle no one wins. Through all the pain there will be moments of utter joy and humor that will sustain them through the sorrow that is sure to follow. Their Father is my friend and mentor. A man who gave me more than he will ever know. As a boy he gave me comfort through bad relationships, taught me social skills by watching him work a crowd, taught me values by showing me his and most of all friendship by being mine. He is but 62 and has lived a life of value and kindness and this cruel fate that has been thrust upon him is without merit. Why do so many good people die young while those with questionable pasts seem to live far past their deserved years?
I pray for my friend, his family and the hundreds of friends who will be affected when we lose this great man. I pray that as I grow I will be even a mere shadow of that man.