Our friend, John Brian, died this morning. J.B. was one of my wife’s closest friends, one who was a Kleiss family friend and a man she knew for many years.
I can really only speak from the short time I knew him, but I miss him dearly. On a recent post I made, he commented about the priorities in my life and to not let things get me down. He had a way of doing that, even when he didn’t say anything, a way of letting people know that life is meant for living and not getting down about the insignificant details.
When Melanie and I first started seeing each other, J.B. was so supportive, so fun, I was very glad that we soon became friends. We shared a lot of the same interests: video games, board games, similar TV shows we liked…and we both loved Melanie. At that time, he was a cancer survivor. When Melanie and I moved away, on our visits back to the city, we always took time to visit J.B. and Jason.
But the cancer came back. J.B. fought it, God did he fight. It was different this time and the cancer spread and metasized. In the end, it was too much for his body to handle. Too short a life for someone like J.B.
In selfish way, I’m not posting this to eulogize him, but trying to get my own feelings in order. Life is so quick, I’m not sure any of us are prepared for when people you love move from our present to our memories.
J.B. knew this day would come. Indeed, he urged on his website for friends and family to not waste time.
Family and friends do not take for granted my presence here, it will not last. I will go with a seasonal change in the winds, and then the full moon will shine down only upon the ashes that once bore my smile. I say this not to invoke tears or to be cruel, but to wake you from any illusion you may have that I will succeed in my struggle for years and years in this rapidly weakening shell. Pay attention. Coming winds may catch you off guard.
On this day, the wind is an agreeable northern breeze, so subtle you wouldn’t notice it unless you were outside for too long and felt the gentle sting on your cheek. It’s a typical cold February day, and for the first time in the past weeks, the sun shines bright on a cloudless day. J.B. was right, I was caught by surprise by his passing. J.B. in his wisdom would remind me to not dwell on this, but celebrate the life we have with the people we love.
My wife arrived home and started sharing stories about J.B. Good, funny stories, ones that had big belly laughs. I think he would appreciate the fact what we’re reflecting on are not the last days, but the wonderful shared times.
God speed, John Brian.