When I got home from dinner tonight with friends, as I usually do, I quickly scanned my E-Mail and saw an E-Mail from Robert Scoble. He had referenced the link that related to the vigil that we had all been holding/watching over our dear friend Marc. I clicked through hoping for some good news, and fearing for bad. My worst fears were confirmed. Marc had passed from this life earlier today.
The picture per this link was taken in my living room, Marc is holding is iPhone, the picture on it is of Sue and Marc. My legs are behind him and Sue’s are to the left. We had driven all over Seattle, had a wonderful breakfast.
And it was only a moment ago.
The combination of numbness and tears, and a deep pain in my heart is with me now. The words that I will post, will be so trivial as to quality of the life that Marc lived. His innate joy, kindness and generosity to me will be something that I will always recall and treasure.
I remember so clearly sitting in his kitchen in Albuquerque, and his explaining to me, how if I was going to live in Seattle, I needed to know how to really make good coffee, and then showing and explaining to me how to do so, as he had with so many other things, made really great coffee.
Marc’s love for Sue, his pride and love for his children were the kinds of emotions that really made you feel good, and made you value him as a man and as a friend.
A week ago Friday morning I called Marc. We talked about a million things as we always did. He told me he was about to begin a consulting assignment with David Allen, and how excited he was to be working with really terrific people. I was so happy for him, and we talked about how he would be here on the just past Friday. We made plans for dinner with David and his team.
And then I heard on Sunday of his heart attack, and said to myself, surly this cannot have happened, there must be some mistake. And now his wonderful life has ended.
Years ago I read a book entitled “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” by Rabbi Harold Kushner.
I recall reading the book because I was so angry about what I perceived to be God’s lack of judgment. I could not understand why death would come to a man as fine and wonderful as Marc, when others not deserving would continue to live and enjoy life. I don’t know that I recall much of the book, and have come to realize that it is not for me to question God’s decisions. I will grieve for Marc, and do all I can to help Sue and their children, and yet I will not understand how this could happen.
Years ago my dear Mother took a summer school course in poetry. I was a kid, clueless, and one day she left her text book on our kitchen counter. I thumbed through it, and found myself reading a poem by A.E. Housman, “Ode to an Athlete Dying Young” …
The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears;
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.
So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.
The verses that have stuck with me these many years…
Marc ‘s race is over, ours continues. His memory will remain a joy in my soul.
I shall miss you dear friend.