The Passing Of A Friend

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The View From Henry’s Living Room Where We Always Gathered

This blog has often been a look at my personal life.  It is hard to write a blog and not invite you, the reader, into my space.  With that said, I want to honor a friend of both James and myself who passed away Friday.

I met Henry, who was known here on this blog when he commented as ‘Kerr Mudgeon’, back in my days at the State Capitol.  Henry worked at the budget office when Governor Thompson was in office.  He was schooled in the classics (Latin and Greek) but found his many talents and skills worked in any office where he applied them.  Over the past many years he became a part of the weekly routine for James and myself as we visited at his home.  He always had cookies or chocolate candy, with the teapot at the ready; even when we popped in unannounced to visit.

His living room was the place for lively conversation or movies with a close set of friends who found that space as wonderful and inviting as we did.  It was there in his home of so many smiles and laughter that Henry passed away from a heart attack Friday. 

A couple weeks ago I wrote about a friend’s garden that caught everyone’s attention that walked in his neighborhood.  It was Henry’s garden that I wrote about, and the picture here is a sample of what he grew and loved.  Henry was generous with his plants and called us over each year to divide the roots and start new plants at our home. 

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Six years ago this June, Henry suffered a heart attack and underwent heart surgery.  On the 6th anniversary of that trying time Henry wrote a long letter, and this is how it ended.

I will let his words speak for James and me tonight.  Thank you Henry for being such a good friend. 

I find myself grateful and even joy-filled as I awaken each morning and am gladdened by the new day. There’s nothing like dying and being revived to make you appreciate every moment of your life as truly the gift that it is. And never ever forget how important your mere presence can be for another person suffering physical and spiritual pain.