Monday, Dec. 20, 2004
Dear Diary:

I finally got my note for Glen finished. I have never had such a hard time writing anything and I want to thank my three loyal readers for their wonderful suggestions.

I mailed my note last Monday afternoon and of course right after I dropped it in the mailbox I met up with a mutual friend who told me Michael died that morning.

Yep, if I had only followed my usual tendency to procrastinate, I could have saved myself the agonies of writing something from the heart and instead been able to pick up a tidy, pre-packaged Hunk o' Sentiment a.k.a. a sympathy card from the greeting card racks.

You can well imagine my bitterness.

(Ignore that burning smell. It's just the soles of my shoes spontaneously igniting from the fire and brimstone pooling around my feet. Yep, going directly to hell for that joke, not passing go, not collecting $200. Please, remember me fondly.)

And that's all I want to say about Michael's death. It's not my story to tell, the story belongs to Glen.

For reasons I cannot explain even to myself I have decided that nothing encapsulates the words "O death where is thy sting?" quite like the gift of a pot of home made soup. When I stopped at the American border on the way to the gym today, I asked the guard what the Homeland Security position vis-à-vis homemade Canadian soup might be.

The good news is that I can bring home made food products across the border. There are restrictions--forget anything with beef in it--but after a little rummaging around in my miniscule cooking repertory it was established that my vegetarian mushroom barley soup will be allowed across. It's simmering downstairs on the woodstove as I write this, its savoury wonderfulness permeating the house. I'll do the hand off on Wednesday at the gym when Glen and I work out together again.

Oh yes, I've sunk to soup stories. And you thought the cat stories were the nadir. Foolish, naïve people.

Today was Glen's first day back at the gym after nearly two months away. It was hard for him because he is a quiet, self-contained man and of course people wanted to acknowledge his loss.

It could have been hideously awkward. Many of the people we work out with are young and haven't dealt much with death. Many of the people we work out with have to sort out what they feel about gays and gay relationships.

No one has to sort out what they feel about Glen. The self-effacing guy who just materializes to spot another lifter without being asked, who works out with an intensity very few of us match, is universally liked.

As he helped each person who approached him over the awkward bits of their condolences, I was struck by how he gave as much comfort as he got. I can't begin to imagine what it must have taken to set aside all the pain he was feeling from his loss to show each of these people this kindness.

You know, occasionally happenstance throws people into your life who in their own quiet way make it richer, better. They're not perfect or anything, but they are thoughtful, aware people who by example remind you of the importance of kindness.

I need to work more on this.


P.S.—MarnCo, the ruthless multinational behind The Big Adventure, wants to thank its three loyal readers for their votes in the 2004 Weblogs Awards. Thanks to you, it won its category, the justly coveted Ridiculously Obscure Weblog. Oh, if only that came with a trophy emblazoned with those words …

Mileage on the Marnometer: 982.07 miles.
Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.25 per cent thereTen percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.25 per cent thereTen percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.
Oh man. This is going to be hard
Goal for 2004: 1,000 miles - 1609 kilometers

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