I’d known him four years. We were both members of the Aikido dojo. He had started about a year before me, and was scheduled to test for shodan (black belt) next month. I have his 10 page written paper in my email. I had helped him edit it.
He was 65. An ARMY veteran from Vietnam. He had the CIB tatooed on his shoulder. Didn’t tell a lot of stories, but he was the real deal.
He was funny. Liked a joke, the raunchier the better.
He had one son, and earlier this month traveled to Vermont to see his newborn grandchild for the first time.
He had a beautiful Harley and loved to ride.
He was in very good physical shape. Worked as a personal trainer.
His Aikido had improved a lot in the last year or so, and he was great to work out with. He had helped me a lot. Being an old fart myself, it was an inspiration to see someone 10 years older out there on the mats going full speed.
He died in his sleep this morning, Memorial Day 2011.
Camp next month will have a hole in it. The dojo will be smaller.
I am diminished.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow.