Remembering Ishi / by Stephen Cooper

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.