How can it hurt this much?
I met Lee, face to face, exactly once. It was no longer than it takes to eat breakfast and share a few stories. That’s it. The rest of our friendship was done virtually through Beliefnet, our blogs and Facebook. There were lots of great conversations and a couple times when we were royally PO-ed with each other. Just like any friendship.
In a lot of ways we didn’t have a lot in common. Southern boy-northern boy, he always said he was “nose bleed high church Episcopal” and me, well my favorite photo from a Eucharist shows a kid leaning an elbow on the altar. Pretty casual. I’ve been lucky to only have minor health issues, Lee had some whoppers. I could go on but our differences weren’t the point. Lee was a bright, articulate guy with the same love for words I’ve always had. And that was enough.
We actually met right around the day he had his diagnosis, might have even been the day he was going to see the doctor. What I remember is that he wasn’t in a real good mood but did his best for us. The kid and I were down in Lee’s neck of the woods on a college trip and we arranged to meet our two friends, Lee and Kim. It’s always interesting to meet online friends.
I was lucky enough to be included in Lee’s circle when times got really hard and he needed folks he could trust. I’ll treasure that trust as my most important memory and gift from Lee.
His life ended Sunday March 29, 2009. Too damn early. He was a full decade younger than me. He leaves behind family and friends for whom the pain is much sharper than it is for me. If it hurts this much for me I can not imagine their feelings.
Pray for Lee’s wife Dawn and his parents.
Pray for comfort for Lee’s friends, especially Kim.
Pray especially for Lee’s children Ian and Bea.