I first met John Scanlan in January of 1994. The circumstances of our introduction weren’t exactly ideal. But things improved: the following year, I would marry his eldest granddaughter.
Living as closeby as we did, our small but growing family would regularly visit John and his wife, Helen. We always wanted to ensure they could spend as much quality time with their great grandchildren as possible. They made everyone feel welcome in their home.
Oftentimes, John would pull me aside and share bits of wisdom with me, or maybe a story from his past. Family, finance, business, life: anything at all. He had a way, through sharing his memories and insights, of helping me to learn more about myself.
I found him to be a respectable, level-headed, kind man. A wealth of knowledge and experience. A character and demeanor that most of us only wish we had.
After a later relocation followed by a series of very painful decisions, I and my son, Nicholas — their great grandson — drifted apart. Sure, we’d talk every few months, but, as life is wont to do, that became rarer as the years went on.
Last Friday evening, Nicholas told me his great-grandfather had been hospitalized. Yesterday morning he told me his great-grandfather; my old friend, the man who was the best man at my wedding, who was there to help two young, confused parents to do the right thing for their children — had passed.
Thank you for everything, John.
Update: Reservations made. Will be making a trip out with Nick so we can say our belated farewells and take a brief opportunity for Nick to see some of his family.