My brother-in-law died yesterday. Because we have lived a continent apart, we were in each other's company for perhaps only 3 weeks out of the 30 years I have known him. But my sense of loss this morning is great.
You see, Gary was one of the good guys, a genuine nice guy. He had a gentle Jimmy Stewart disposition. Worked hard all his life. Took pleasure in simple things. Always played the hand he was dealt with grace and equanimity.
He adored his wife of 43 years, his children and grandchildren. It was this love that fueled his arduous fight with lung cancer this past year, enduring months of treatment with his usual upbeat, glass half-full optimism. Never complained.
He was loyal and honest, a steadfast man, accepting of everybody, tolerant of foibles that would have irritated a saint. Even when he didn't like someone, he expressed his opinions without rancor or disdain, simply as his opinion. Never nasty, never demeaning.
This world could use more good guys. I will miss this very decent man.