This was one I didn't want to write. In fact, I've put it off for several days. But it's time. I've mentioned how interesting it is living in the same town where you grew up, and not only in the same town, on the same street.
It seems you're constantly reminded of you childhood. The memories can be wonderful--you remember people and places, the good times of youth. However, as there is opposition in all things, the memories can--and are often--be painful. That's especially true when you lose friends, which is why I stayed home from work today; which is why I delayed writing about my friend Clint Richins.
Today was his funeral.
He was forty-nine years old.
Funerals are amazing, in their own weird way. We usually hear talks from those who knew the person best. Today we heard from Clint's five siblings--each shared touching memories of a man who was more than a brother, but a friend, a protector, a confidant, a comedian, a healer. What I knew about Clint was not only bolstered, but I found out other things as well. If you know Clint--even a little bit--you know some of the basics: he loved Rush, the band, he loved history, he was a great artist, and he was a cowboy. It's as if he sometimes had a tough time living in such a complicated and crazy and illogical world. I know he had demons following him--we all do. I know he went through a lot.
Of course, there's a lot I didn't know about the man, things I would have liked to know, conversations I would have loved to have had. As I sat waiting for our turn to participate in the program (we sang a beautiful song by Antonin Dvorak...), I noticed Clint's absolutely beautiful casket--a simple wood box. I also thought about my father who passed away at forty-nine, and who had his funeral in the same building forty-four years ago, almost to the day.
A friend asked me why I missed work today. I told him. He asked, "Why so young?" I responded that I believe Clint was a man out of time, not that he ran out of time, but he was just in the wrong time. Now, he's home and in his perfect time. God speed, Cowboy.