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Dear Matt…

I wish you hadn’t gone.

I wish you would have waited. I wish you would have waited for me to come back and share another whiskey. I wish you I could have told you how great of a friend you were. I wish I wouldn’t have been so naive to think that you would always be around. I wish I could call you and say I am sorry for not calling. I wish I could say that any of my wishes made a difference.

But they don’t. Today, you are gone. You aren’t hear for me to call. You aren’t here for me to tell you how you are a rock in a world of pebbles. You aren’t here to have a whiskey… So instead, I shared a whiskey with a memory. A memory of a heart of gold. A memory of a true friend.

You were there through thick and thin. You made the world around you a more enjoyable place. You brought a smile to anyone who ever knew you. You had a charisma and charm that couldn’t be denied. When you spoke, people listened, and when you listened, people noticed. You could carry the world on your back, and many times, you did.

I miss you already Matt. I cannot believe you are gone.

I won’t tell you that I believe you are in some magic fairy land of rainbows and unicorns; because I know you wouldn’t want me to submit to such a fantasy unless I truly believed it. It was what made our friendship so special. You were so firm in your beliefs… and I in mine… But we knew the character of each other. Regardless of where we stood on the ballot box, or afterlife, or foreign affairs, I had your back, and you had mine. If you were about to beat some liberal hippie into the ground at a bar, I was right behind you… Because I knew it wasn’t because of what he believed, but because you could see his inner schmuck…

I love you Matt. I will never forget you. Thank you for being such an amazing person. You are a foundation for greatness. You are a rock.

Always.

Nic

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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in life, love, rocks, rocks..., Uncategorized

 

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…roadstop Pampy:)

I guess it took being confined to a cabin in the woods of Tennessee to really comprehend the stories Pampy told. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. Several of the old fella’s stories are on repeat and shuffle, so my family and I, we know these stories. We have happily humored the repetition of these tales with respectful nods and doctored chuckles for quite some time now. We all have, and do love him undoubtedly; but nonetheless, you can only hear the same story so many times before complacent boredom is the only response.

Sometimes though, in an instant, a moment can change, and the gravity of what is being told outweighs anything else that may be going on. The flicker of a distant memory can trigger the outpour of many of life’s unscripted moments. Listening is an art that requires practice, and in moments such as those, the record button needs to be on. Our minds don’t always tell us what our ears hear. Fortunately enough, my grandpa, Pampy, has a booming voice that can grip the heart from time to time.

One sunny afternoon, on a Christmas trip to Gatlinburg, I grabbed a seat next to the 83 year old fella I call, my Pampy. The view of a weather worn mountain range was enough for the old Dutchman to find solace. With his thick dialect, a subtle remark can grab the attention of an entire room. The familiarity he felt with the place he had found himself, brought on a reminiscent sigh. He has a presence that he is keenly aware of, and a playful smirk that can result in a heavy burst of hiccups for entire crouds.

His spirits were high that day. He felt the happy energy of a gathered family. It wasn’t long before the stories began. He typically would start with the tales about coming to America for a job at a metropolitan hospital. Other times he would tell of an old dog on Aires Rd. that would hop the fence all the way to the local butcher.  However, on this particular day, he told one of my favorites. The tale of his glacier adventure with a fellow Dutchmen he met on the train, and an English soldier. He always starts it at the train station.

It wasn’t his first train ride. He had been on plenty of trains. When he was young  his family used the spur* when they needed to travel for supplies. The sudden rush of air as the train tore though the valleys and tunnels always gave the young pampi’s heart a startle. It wasn’t even the excitement of being in Paris that had him anxious with joy. He had been to Paris several times with his father in fact. This trip was something different though. Reservations had been arranged at a small chalet in Les Houches (a small town south of Geneva.) After a shared visit with local family, Pampy and his father part ways, and the adventure began

*a short branch rail line.

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2010 in beginning of a story..., roadstops...

 

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