I first met JD in India, when he good heartedly agreed to accompany my oldest friend (and later his wife) Hope on a visit to me. He had a conference in Hyderabad, many hundreds of miles away but went waaaay out of his way to make sure Hope and I could connect. I had my then husband and three kids in tow, chaos abounded. He and Hope travelled all night by car to meet us at the hotel. It was beastly hot. The food was hot. The room was hot. My kids swarmed all over him. Hope and I chattered like excited birds and basically left him to his own devices. He and James bellied up to a bottle of scotch and wrangled the kids. When Hope and I came up for air, I tossed a ‘sorry about the choas, thanks for being so cool’ at him. He smiled a genuine smile and said, ‘no problem, it’s fine.’ And it was.
Then he pulled copies of Sesame Street out of his bag-‘There is a new character! Abby-Kadaby’. My oldest daughter’s name. He watched it with the kids 20 times in 2 days.
We travelled by rickshaw, went to the zoo (scary), the playground, shopped for souvenirs, ate at roadside stands, all in twenty trillion degree heat…and always that easy going smile. Always the ‘it’s fine.’ and it really WAS.
He was the most singularly laid-back cool cat I ever met. He took it all in stride. When the visit was over, he paid the hotel bill for all of us. A class act.
A couple days later we picked up his wedding suit (betcha didn’t know that sucker was hand made for him!) and it is my priviledge to say that he purchased the yamulke he wore at their wedding in India as well. That was the first time I met JD and the last time I was actually in his physical presence. Mostly we e mailed, and sometimes spoke through Hope.
I am and will ALWAYS be grateful that he entered her life. He was the light of her world. A perfectly matched set. I pray for her to be able to remake her life without him. I pray that his good hearted spirit will find peace, enlightenment and ultimate goodness for eternity. And that he will bless her from wherever he is.
Your goodness will be deeply missed my friend. Travel on in peace.