I lost an old friend today. He had been in poor health – really for as long as I knew him, so in some ways, today’s news was not a surprise. But it still hurts. He was younger than me. He lived with us in Texas for a year. He worked for me. He moved on with life, found a woman to love him, got married and died much too young.
“Mr. Metaphor”, I called him. Ken was a writer who never really found his audience or – perhaps – even his voice. But he was a master of metaphors. I’m gonna miss those metaphors.
He stuck with his faith in God and God’s grace long after most people would have said “screw it”.
We shared a lot of meals over the years. The kids will most likely never forget his Pumpkin Soup. Good God Almighty, that man could make a mess of a kitchen. I’ve never known another person who could dirty so many pots and pans in so little time.
I think he looked up to me, and I fell off the pedestal he put me on when I got divorced several years ago. That bothers me, but not near as much as it hurts to have lost him to death so young.
It seems some people never really get a break, never get over the hump. Ken started life behind the eight ball and never seemed to get out from that position. I was so happy for him when he found Lindsay; one of the most satisfying days of my life was the day I stood with him as he married her. (Strangely, that was also the time my own marriage was cracking apart.)
So for my friend Ken, I offer this traditional Irish blessing – from the heart.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
and the rains fall softly upon your fields
and – till we meet again – may God hold you in the palm of His hand.