Don died tonight.
It wasn't unexpected - he was ill afterall. Had been for years. But it was a surprise. It's the surest thing in the universe but it's still always a surprise.That's Don in the middle of the picture flanked by his mother on the right and his sister on the left. He was the youngest of six kids. He probably got the breathing problems from smoking a lot and forever.
He was a skinny guy from years of sleeping on the streets and then living in a state run assisted-living home, where he died tonight. They checked on him and he was just fine, then came back 15 minutes later and he had passed. Think about that for awhile and then go tell someone you love, that you love them.
Don had a temper. But I think it was only with himself. He just couldn't figure out how he got dealt this hand in life. They say you've got to play the cards you're dealt, but Don's deck was stacked. It's hard to enjoy playing a crooked game. He had such a hard life that we hope that he left this life without pain or fear. He didn't deserve any more of either. Whoever said life isn't fair, got it exactly right.
Despite his temper with himself, Don was kind to all around him. He was innocent in so many ways. He loved his family very much and they loved him. The simplest of gifts was a treasure of kings to him.
His sister Charlotte saw him last week when she was back in Ohio. She spent a good long day with him roaming around, going to the little Chinese buffet that he liked and sitting on a bench. No doubt he had a cigarette or two. At the end of the day he said to Charlotte "This was a good day, wasn't it?" And she had to agree. The simplest of gifts.
Thinking of that tonight her tears welled up. "'This was a good day, wasn't it?', that's what he said to me." she said.
I don't know much, but if heaven be true Don better damn well be there, if karma be true then he ought to be reborn a Buddha, and if zen then nirvana.
Don. May you be safe. May you be free of suffering. May you be happy.