In 1990 I walked into a room with a bunch of people sitting around swapping stories and drinking coffee. I met a man in this room who became a very special friend to me. Today this man passed on. He was not only a friend to me, but to my mom, my brothers and sister, my daughter, my grandson. He even knew my favorite cousin that I grew up with. Each of these people, especially my mom, thought highly of my friend. I though highly of my friend. He helped me to learn how to have patience and tolerance, he was kind, respectful and never sugar-coated his advice. He helped me grow into the woman I am today, though he was younger, he had a bit more rational wisdom than I did when I met him. By watching him, I learned how to have loving relationships with others.
He spent a lot of time talking and listening to me (even when he obviously wanted to be somewhere else). We would sit behind the building in which that room was, and I would try to explain my situations to him and he would try to give me answers. A few times his answers rubbed me the wrong way, and I would stomp off only to call him later.
We spent so much time on the telephone, he would fall asleep while I was talking! That always pissed me off. I was always the one who got pissed off. He never once hung up on me or talked down to me. He shared his family with me, his lady and in the past few years, his granddaughter, who is only about four or five. She loved him so much. He was a great example to me of how to live life when life hands you lemons. He had great physical difficulties, but was usually just glad to be living the life he had.
He gave me the chance to have a person in my life who was not a significant other or relative, that I could love the way I wish all people could love each other. A love that helps make life a little smoother. He was a good friend to me. I will miss you, Johnny.