Say hello to Heaven…

JD…  goddamn. A month ago, you told me via email that you were feelin’ all right. I reminded you to go out on your front step on October 31 and “holler ‘WEEN'”, like you mentioned once, years ago.

I’m lucky to have known you. I got to call you a good friend. And, even if I never quite spelled it out for you, I always admired your mind. The way your brain worked. The ideas you had, your diligence in research. Your sense of humor!

You left this world not knowing this, but in your last few months you helped me – in a way you might not have imagined. When you were going through treatment, when you observed others being treated for lung cancer, struggling with all their might just to take a breath — that reached me. You didn’t know it at the time, but you were talking me into kicking cigarettes after 25 years. Labor Day weekend of this year, I left the smokes behind. You helped me do that. I can’t thank you now, but I can forever be grateful.

I can’t forget your smile. I can’t forget your heart. I can’t forget how you so genuinely gave a damn for everyone you called a friend. I can’t forget the mark you made in my world, and the worlds of so many others.

And now, if it’s all the same, I think I’m just going to cry for a bit.

A.J. Morning


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