As candid as norm, when I first heard of my friends passing, snatched from my hands, never to see him again, shy of three years ago, a bond unlike any other, being unable to wear a mask amidst the darkest lie known to mankind, I wanted to redefine the meaning of 'laying on of hands,' connecting with our Mayor and local health officials, strangling them, after first rebuking them of their irresponsible and inexcusable leadership, seeking no third party pathologist accountability for pandemic status, for which there was none, never has been, never will be; zero to do with health! HOWEVER - this is about my friend, Don.
So, what can I say about my friend after twenty years? Words are not enough! With a belly laugh that could put everyone within earshot, laughing hysterically along with him, that I could pretty much bring about on spec, with a little whisper of sweet nothings in his ear, literally, his laugh would suddenly erupt and be heard throughout his home, upstairs and down, outside if windows were open - and more so - when sitting out on his deck.
In 2019, a co-worker and myself, had the privilege of taking Don on his annual cottage holiday, as health permitted, a break for him, something everyone should experience more often, away from all the noise and hustle bustle of life.
He couldn't wait to get into the van to begin listening to some of his favorite tunes from the band Abba to Classical to R&R and R&B, sometimes softly, sometimes booming. And this trip, just before heading out for the 2.5hr drive, after whispering my sweet nothings from the drivers seat, Don begins to crack up, sharing his infamous belly laugh; funny, funny, funny - truly an amazing human being, a true friend indeed, and a privilege to serve.
Upon our destination arrival, although Don was unable to see things as we see it, he knew as soon as he was out of the van, where he was, seeing everything just as we were seeing it, by the quiet, serene, and sweet smelling surroundings that suddenly engulfed him, bringing him into his holiday treasured spirit. A little rest and relaxation, singing birds, croaking frogs, swish of the water waves, the sounds of cottage country boats and planes, that come with outdoor living, that spoke volumes by his contentment amidst deserved pampering and adventure. Cheers Donald!
His smile became pasted upon his face as soon as he would leave the van for his first whiff of holiday time. Chilled easily, he's hooded up until he tells us differently, lol. Trust me, we all hear him, relatable to the old KIA commercial 'Ieeeee!' or Uggh! ... you had to be there, what a guy! However, when he wanted something, although unable to speak as we do, his indicators would lead us to responding to being too warm (just tossing off blankets), lol, or too cold (shivering kind of speaks for itself), or "Can I get a drink over here please?" with his hand up to hold his cup, or, "is it dinner yet?" etc., we of course jump right to it, with pleasure and returned smiles, tossing in a big hug just because, lol.
After getting settled in, OK, maybe a quick run around the holiday site to loosen up a tad before lunch - as fast as these two legs could run, pushing Don, laughing to high-heaven, we then leave it up to the boss, our friend, but at his service to decide whether to sit and listen to nothing on the deck of our cottage, or go down by the boats and/or planes to check out the docks and whoever's around to say hello to; as they always loved seeing Donald.
Even if he was tired for his rest, Don never got bored of hearing his friend whispering sweet nothings, only to hear that giggle, or chuckle, if not a full out belly laugh before zonking into la-la-land.
With that said, I'm sure my clowning drove fellow staff crazy at times, but hey, friends first, right, lol!
OK, OK, I'm going already, lol.
Never ceased to amaze me, my friend Donald. He loved his quiet time, even when home. But more than not, loved surprises when someone like myself would sneak in, giving him a big hug, or a simple 'BOO' or 'WHAT'S GOING ON,' kind of thing. Don was one of the family, with an exceptional way of showing gratitude, giving away free and real smiles as if knowing something we did not, just because; a world, our world knows very little about.
In closing, allow me to leave a little tribute to my friend, Chiquitita one of his favorite songs knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that my friend Don is no longer haunted by disfiguration or any other challenge, brought on by the same PlanDemic clowns of today.
Rather, Donald is now perfect in every fashion, above and beyond human limitations, all because of born-again-perfection when trust is placed, not in man, or man's ideas of god, but in the author of life, promised Messiah, and Savior of the world, and proved it, Jesus Christ Living God.
Bye for now Don!