October 31, 2006

I've avoided writing this for as long as possible, it's supposed to be online in less than 24 hours and I'm just starting it. Although I've written about it in a couple of different places, writing this, for here, seems more like saying "goodbye" than anything else I've done so far. I'd hoped thirty days would be time enough for the wound to heal a little and not be so raw but I find now, the healing was nothing more than a thin scab over a very deep wound indeed.

I don't remember when I started talking to Jay. It must have been either 1999 or 2000 but it doesn't matter. It feels like I've known Jay forever. It seems like he's always been there.

You see, everyone knows about Don and I. Everyone knows we're tight and have been for many years. What they don't know, is that it was never just Don and I. Jay was a fairly private sort. Perhaps he saw the petty annoyances Don and I had to put up with and wisely decided to just work behind the scenes, helping us out where he could, even if that help was nothing more than the considerable support a good friend can give when you're feeling down and kicked.

I could always count on Jay to be there with some smart assed but still surprisingly cogent remark to help me put things back in perspective. He was always there with us, lending support and acting, whether he knew it or not, as a foil to bounce some of my more fantastic ideas off of.

He was one of my truest friends even though we never met. We talked on the phone a very few times, and exchanged a couple of pictures over the years, and he was as true a friend as if he lived in the house next door. He understood concepts like loyalty, honor, and friendship. He not only understood them, he lived them in a very quiet, humble, and surprisingly dignified way.

I could write for hours and never come close to telling you what a wonderful human being Jay Charman was, there just aren't words enough to do the job.

If you knew him, you know what I'm talking about and if you didn't know him, its truly a pity. You missed out on something rare and wonderful.

He would want me to end this with some sort of joke. Some silly comment intended to lighten the mood and downplay the seriousness of the situation. He could have pulled it off perfectly without a second's hesitation but I just can't do it. It hurts far too much.

Jay wasn't a religious man, and so he proved you don't have to believe in God to be a good man. He was always tolerant of the beliefs of others and so while he might smile tolerantly at me for saying this, I know he'd understand.

God Bless you Jay.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace,
Forever and ever.

Amen