He was and is very dear to my heart and will forever be. He was part Ute and part Apache and I’ve never met a kinder and more caring individual. During a particularly dark and stressful time in my life, even though he didn’t know me personally, he would always stop me and say hello as I walked past the business in which he worked, taking my mail or bank bag down to the post office or bank from my bookstore, up the street.
Then came the day when we had our usual courteous exchanges, but he asked, “Are you okay?”
“Yes, I’m fine.” I wasn’t… far from it… but I was trying to hold back the tears before the dam burst.
Taking my arm, his comment was, “No, you aren’t. Step inside with me for a minute.”
Once inside, he told me he could tell I was deeply upset about something and he wanted to help me with whatever it was. Before I could speak, the tears began flowing and I could not stop them. As they went on, he gently placed his arms around me until I gained control. Then he had me sit down and talk to him. What a wise and wonderful older man he was. By the time I left, I felt so much better and right then and there, our close and warm platonic relationship began. A lot of days, I could just say I was fine and get on down the road, but many days, he wasn’t buying it until I came inside and told him what was wrong and listened to his wisdom on how to cope with whatever the problem was at the time. He was the most perceptive person I have ever met.
A few years later, after my life was in a place better than it had ever been, he confided that he was so concerned during my dark days that he had gone ” up on the mountain”, for me and was so pleased it has worked. That ritual is part of his Native American culture and I’m not enlightened about what it entails, but I know it is intense, difficult to endure and has a spiritual connection. Words cannot describe how that bonded us together in a stronger way than just average friends. We talked daily for years about all sorts of topics. Many days he dried my tears and we laughed uproariously on others.
He chose a Native American fetish for me and gave it to me, which is a female mountain lion. He said my husband’s fetish is the wolf because he was the chief of police here for 22 years (and a LEO for 42) and alpha wolves fiercely protect their pack. The wolf fetish pictured here was given to me by my best friend, who works at the Ute Museum.
This morning, I sat down to do one of the saddest things I’ve ever had to do. I sent a sympathy card to his widow, whom he adored. I’ve met her several times and she’s a dear tiny Native American woman, so it’s apparent why they loved each other so deeply. I know she is lost without him.
Yes, my dear friend recently took that final ride into the eternal sunset. I’ll miss you, never forget you and you will always be in a special place in my heart. May your loving soul now rest in peace.