The old saying is that a picture is worth a thousand words, right?
This picture represents FAR MORE than a thousand words.
You may see a man feeding a chipmunk. I do too, but I see SO MUCH more.
I see a mentor. I see a friend. I see a husband, father & grandfather. I see an outdoorsman. I see so many scenes from my life played out in my mind that I do not even know where or how to begin.
The photograph above is one of my favorite pictures of Best Bud Ed’s dad, John. In fact, when I think of John, it is this image (or something similar) is what pops into my mind. This photo represents so much of who he was, and what he was about to me.
I have written and re-written this post so many times, I lost count.
I have struggled over and over and over again to try and come up with post about a man that I held in high regard. A post that honored a man who lived life as John did. On his own terms – with the determination of a bull. A post that treasured so many fond memories… In the end, I couldn’t.
I realized that I won’t be able to meet my own expectations, that I am not going to find the right combination of words to honor and celebrate his life – nor will I be able to express my gratitude to Best Bud Ed and his family for having shared their husband, father, and grandfather with me as well as I wish I could.
Instead, I decided to post the photo above. A photo that is (to me) worth a thousand (or more) words (and fond memories). I could go on and on about the countless hours I spent at Ed’s place hanging with his dad. The times we spent in his (meticulously kept) garage or shed while he tinkered on an old radio or tuning up a chain saw. I could talk about the memories of the times we spent in the basement while he reloaded shotgun shells or just hanging out in his living room while he “tolerated” us playing cribbage, ordering pizzas, watching movies, and listening to loud teenage music.
This photo takes me back to memories of “Roly Poly Tobacco Tins”, antique firearms, and trips to the cabin. It floods me with memories of hours spent around the campfire, smokin’ cigars, and drinkin’ Leroux Black. I can’t help but think about ATV’s, Yours Truly Johnny Dollar, Freshly made Donuts from the Aitkin Bakery, antique collections, cribbage, and Coast to Coast Hardware.
On the 27th of February this year John left us and was welcomed (open armed) into the embrace of our Heavenly Father.
John’s memory and legacy lives on. He lives in the hearts and minds of his family, and his friends. I am proud and thankful to be able to say that John was my friend and truly believe his influence has helped make me a better man.
So John, as you transition to whatever comes next after our lives here, I want to wish safe journeys to you my friend, until such time that we can meet again… You remain in my thoughts and prayers.