Yesterday I attended the funeral for a grammar school buddy of mine. He passed away from a heart attack at the age of 52.
I hadn't spoken to Ishi for many years, probably not since high school. We'd written through Facebook some, but I hadn't seen him for a long time.
He and I grew up in the same neighborhood. Those were the days when you rode your bike to a buddy's house and actually played outside.
I remember him so fondly because he always greeted me and others with a big genuine smile. He radiated a warmth and sincereness that is so often missing from people these days.
One of my childhood friends put it simply, "everyone loved Ishi".
And another friend said, "he was a warrior". A warrior in the best sense of the word. One who was faithful, strong, a solid friend, and deeply caring.
It's a sad reminder of just how precious each moment is.
For me, it's also a reminder of what is really important in life. A clarification of how I want to be remembered, and how to spend each day being authentic and more loving.
I'll miss you buddy.