Remembering Colorful Times
Chiang Mai • Baltimore • Paris
Without question, our six years of friendship have left an indelible mark on my heart. I owe you an enormous thank you for never judging me. Or, if you did, you remained silent. Indeed, some of my ideas could have easily sounded absurd to you. Instead, you listened, and often with very few words would guide and support me.
Dining together was always captivating. I loved the way you would scour the menu before selecting the perfect dish. Your unspoken request for silence required at this time was respected. Whether we were dining alone or with friends, I knew this to be your time. You were always content to listen as you concentrated on your food and wine. However, you never missed a beat in the conversation. I would see you lift your gaze from the plate, nod, and smile.
It was during our many long phone conversations that I received the key to your past. The profound love you shared with family and many friends was admirable. I can imagine, my unrelenting questions could be considered a nuisance. However, you never let on and answered with enthusiasm. You allowed me to relive your active days of golf and tennis with passion. Without boasting, I could see you were a star. And I never tired of your stories about your life with your late wife. Oh my, if we all could experience such love like the two of you shared. Your children and grandchildren were fortunate to have been exposed to such a loving relationship.
As we are approaching one month since your death, I still expect it could be you when the phone rings. I also anticipate seeing you at therapy. It is always a disappointment when I realize you won't be there. I receive some solace in discussing memories with the therapists. You made an impression no matter where you went.
As for our last conversation, I am so grateful your son arranged the video chat. Although warned, I refused to believe this may be our final connection. I imagined you beating this setback and returning to Chiang Mai. Yes, there would be more shared dinners, phone calls, and our paths would continue to cross at therapy and acupuncture.
As I remember the many special moments we shared, no matter where we were in the world, I will always cherish your gift of friendship. And for this I thank you.