It’s weird sometimes how much of an effect people can have on you.
A couple of months ago, a co-worker told me about a poster she saw up in the local coffee shop about a motorcycle rally coming up in June. It turned out the rally was to raise money for a local biker to pay his medical bills. He had brain cancer. I wrote the story, hoping to stir up some interest for them.
I got to interview the man, Dan. He was truly a delight, from the moment I met him. He had the sort of warm presence some people have that make you feel like you have known them for ages, even though you’ve just met.
I had a really good time sitting with him at his kitchen table and just chatting.
We talked about his past, his hobbies, his job, his family. We talked about the fancy car he bought because he couldn’t ride his motorcycle anymore. We talked about how much he missed going to work at the hospital every day. And we talked about the cancer.
He had a really positive attitude about it. He felt pretty good most days and, although it would surely beat him someday, he wasn’t going down without a fight.
He died a few days ago, less than a year since the original diagnosis.
Although I knew it was coming, I felt like I got hit by a truck.
Here was a man I barely knew, but it devastated me to know he died.
I will be attending his funeral Friday. I may even shed some tears. Not because we had a lot of good times together. Not at the future times we won’t have now. But at the sad fact that the world has lost an honestly good person and one that will stick with me forever.