Sometimes, being constantly on the road can be tough. As in when a friend is struggling with cancer, and then dies, and you’re far away from him, and your, and his, community. Our friend, (we called him Baker Mike,) died last night after a long, painful, battle with cancer. Our last time in New Jersey, we were able to visit with him, and say our goodbyes. Once we were on the road again, he texted me to tell me to see all the places we were seeing for him, too, and to have fun, for him. That’s a promise easily kept.
Baker Mike is indelibly connected to my dear friend Rhoda, who died almost 2 years ago. When I got to New Jersey to see her, only to find out that she had died while I was enroute, Baker Mike and I hung out quite a bit and he was a loving support to me as I waited for Handsome Husband to find his way to New Jersey from Oregon. We went out for coffee, I helped him move some things from his old house to an apartment, I hung out with him and a group of friends at his house on Friday evenings. He was there to give me hugs (and he was the best damn hugger you’d ever want to get a hug from!) I still have his voice on my phone, from a message he left for me during that time. That is priceless to me now. Mike was a beautiful story of a man turning his life around and making it count. That story will shine true when we gather for his memorial service, in the numbers of people he loved, and those who loved him, who will be there to bid him Godspeed. Handsome Husband and I will be there, of course. Vermont, where we are now, is a short drive away from New Jersey when the miles are counted against the love we had for him.
The heavens shine brightly tonight as another star twinkles. That will be Baker Mike, and the smile he always had for all of us who loved him.
A legacy of love-there is nothing better, and that is what he leaves behind~