At first glance we were entirely different.  One of us was black.  One of us was white.  One of us was married twice.  One of us married once.  One of us was a father.  One of us was not.  One of us was witty. One of us was wittier. One of us faced racism and bigotry.  One of us apparently did not.

Once we got to know each other we found that we had a lot in common.  Each of us appeared to have a hard outer shell, but yet we were both pretty sweet people who were a bit nutty deep inside. We were both hard working married men who had served in the military.  We both loved our country and wanted the best for ourselves and for others as well.  We enjoyed engaging in conversations about controversial topics and always respected the other’s point of view.  We never once insulted each other.  Nor did we call each other names.  We did not have discussions so much as we carried on a dialogue about things.  Geez, we even shared the same initials!

As February comes to an end, with its promise of a quickly approaching spring and a renewed sense of vigor one of us is alive to enjoy it, and the other is not.

My friend passed away and, as we often do upon losing someone, we take the time to reflect upon the times and, yes, even the words that were shared among us.  After all, it is the sum of life’s experiences, both good and bad, that factors into the persons that we become.  It is an ongoing process that gives us an opportunity to evolve for the better over time.

The last words of advice that my friend left for us to consider went something like this.  Forgive me for paraphrasing.

“Never trust the religious with telling you how to vote.  Don’t trust a politician who tells you how to pray, and never let a draft dodger tell you how to be patriotic!”—MM

The weather goes on, does it not?  Expect temperatures pushing 60 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.  Showers should arrive overnight and continue on Tuesday..





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