He was a force to be reckoned with, one way or another. And he was never boring, that's for sure. With all the bombast and fury he possessed, he fought two different cancers for many years, the second cancer the result of chemotherapy from the first one. A while back, knowing that he had been given only a few more months, we brought his friends together to have a cocktail or two or three with him, just to say goodbye without really having to say it. What could have been a morbid evening was enjoyable and nostalgic, mostly because he was very open and matter of fact about his limited time, could still tell great stories, and could still laugh heartily with his friends.
The following words are from a column that appeared in our local newspaper many years ago. I repeat it here in honor of my friend. Godspeed, JB.
Summer ends for everyone.
So do all of life's troubles and promises.
What matters isn't the length of someone's season.
What's important is how often they laughed and wept,
danced and prayed,
fulfilling their purpose on the planet.
So, now it is time to sit on park benches
in the slowly fading light
and remember green years and good lives gone.
A time to live. And, for some, a time to die.
- Betty DeRamus