My heart aches this morning for a friend who’s life ended in a case of car versus pedestrian. I had seen the article in the paper of the unnamed victim, a brief ‘how sad’ moment before turning to the next story.
Fergus has – had – been a constant in my life for over twenty years. He showed compassion to a naive farm kid trying to navigate the perceived sophistication of gay culture, and would share a shot in commiseration when I learned a new truth, along with a kind word, laugh and look to the future. There was a short period of time then when he was more frustrated with life, as he struggled briefly to find a job, but it was always a “OK, I’ve got that out of my system” kind of conversation that friends have, those moments where the mundane is made meaningless and joy must be found in the now.
He was always genuinely pleased to hear of others’ good fortune, whether a new job, new pet, new relationship. He was also always genuinely concerned when the coin landed the other way, and would reach out with a compassionate word or a simple touch. When my husband passed and I ventured to the pub one afternoon, not wanting to be around people having fun, but not wanting to be alone, Ferg came over, clasped my shoulder and just sat quietly with me: no words needed, just a quiet steady presence with the occasional clink of the cups.
Flash forward almost a decade to now, and he was SO happy that I found someone new. He welcomed another new person with his usual warmth, carefully slowing his speech down for someone who is still learning the language, to ensure that there was inclusion in the conversation.
Ferg’s love of photography was one that I shared, and I was in awe of where his work was going, that ability to see the beauty in the everyday, and capture a perspective to share with those interested. We’d share comments on each others work, and little quips on Facebook.
He had gently mocked the St. Patrick’s day hats that the boyfriend and I appeared in on Facebook that Friday. Having not been out for a while, we were meeting with another group of friends that night, but had popped by Statler’s first. Ferg was leaving as we were arriving but we stopped to chat a bit with a promise to get together soon. Saturday a.m. we came up with a plan to go on a nature walk/photo shoot, and were trying to coordinate the details.
And now that constant source of kindness is abruptly gone.
Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay. ~ Robert Frost