I wrote in my last post about a good friend who died about a week and a half ago. He was 74 years old, a fireman in town, and he was a best friend to my dad, and like family to my sister, mom and I. He was a guy who could make you laugh, but also scare the crap out of you too when you did something wrong. He would never hurt anyone, but he knew how to intimidate when needed. I remember times when I was little running around the shop and making noise, and he would sometimes come and play but others make sure we knew we were too loud. He gave amazing hugs, and I would always go up to him and kiss him on his cheek when I saw him…….all the way to the day he died. He was a guy who had the tough outside but on the inside he had a heart of gold. He was a guy that you just always knew would be there. The guy who you could call for anything and he’d be sure to help you out. He was the type of guy that people looked to as someone who would ALWAYS be there…..we never thought about the day he would pass on. We kinda held him to an invincible standard. And now, now he’s gone, and it hurts like hell, and it seems so so weird that we’ll never be able to call him again just to say hi, or to ask a question. He will never dress as santa clause again and light the town Christmas tree, and he won’t be there anymore to lead us during the steak frys and corn boils. This past Thursday was his wake, and I looked down at him in the casket and I cried. I cried because it’s unbelievable, shocking still. I cried because I feel like I lost a piece of my heart, my life that I will never get back. I lost a dear friend and I feel empty. Saturday was his Funeral. It was a beautiful service. Dad got up and spoke along with 5 or 6 other friends and family members. They all did a wonderful job. Then from the church we walked behind an antique fire engine that had his casket on the back, over to the cemetery, had a few words over there and then we all put rose petals on his casket before they lowered him into the ground.
I can’t imagine what his daughter and step children are feeling during this time. I can’t fathom how much it hurts. I know how much it hurts for me, and I am just a friend. I want to hug him again, I want to kiss him on his cheek and I want to hear his booming voice telling us all that we need to do better. I just want him back here on earth, and I know that is so so selfish, but I miss him so much. He was such an amazing man and he impacted my life in so many ways. I just want to give some of that back to him, have an impact on him too. I feel like I owe him so much that I won’t get the chance to give him.
I love you Stuart, you hold a special place in my heart and I’ll never forget you and all you’ve done for me and my family. Rest in Peace buddy.