Monday, January 28, 2013
My oldest friend
While I was in college Andrew took a turn for the worst and was hospitalized. I "prepared" to loose him (a silly notion but something a younger me thought I could do). Andrew fooled us all and pulled through, though he would now be stuck in his bed (for the most part one or twice a year he would go to a movie) and have to breath though a trake tube he would go on. That Spring break I visited him and I learned he had met a chaplain at the hospital and this experience had given him a bit of a spiritual awakening. He asked me if I could introduce him to my Priest. I contacted Father Reagan though I do not recall now if they met, I do not believe they did. Andrew explored a number of religions, listened to the Bible( and the Qua'ran) on tape and frequently engaged me in discussion on religions subjects. Eight years of Catholic education provides a wealth of opportunity to study religion regardless of ones desire to do so and use my knowledge as a starting point for some of his exploration. In the end Andrew joined the Congregational Church in Marshfield and found a home there. I was very impressed by the way that church worked to make him part of their Community even going so far as to set up a tele/video conference so he could be part of church meetings. He was active in their youth ministry. I am grateful to them for the way the opened their arms and hearts to include him.
Andrew and I discussed many things not just religion, that is part of why I always returned. Andrew had a sharp mind and a clever wit right up until our last meeting. Andrew and I stood on opposite sides of many political issues not disagreeing so much on ends as on ways and means and even when we didn't we often disagreed about who would best get the job done. I loved getting his perspective usually a very practical one devoid of most ideology and willing to concede a good point and admit their were aspects of a position or persons political make up that he was troubled by. Our disagreements were never acrimonious a refreshing change in the current world of politics. More often the conversation was about books we had read, movies we had seen and what was going on in my life and to a lesser extent his life.
I often wonder what Andrew would have done had he not be trapped by his condition. If pressed I would say that he would probably have written as he loved books, comic books and movies. He did a few outlines for comic book stories and they were pretty good as my very bias mind recalls them. I wish he had gotten them published. The truth is he would probably have surprised us all had he been able to leave behind the chains of his condition, speculation is pointless and limits a person of boundless potential
Andrew had passion for comic books and Science fiction especially Star Wars, Japanese animation especially the Robotech series. His collection of action figures and comic books is something to behold and I am sure his parents will find some proper way to dispose of them. He also loved music I remember him playing drums for a while in elementary school while he still had enough upper body strength and his collection of music was also extensive. Flags and the nations the represented were also an area he studied with passion. Below are some photos of his room and the collection that decorated it.
Andrew lost his life long battle to Muscular Dystrophy on January 11th 2013. We comemorated him on January 26, 2013. I had him as my friend for almost 30 years and it was not long enough, it could never be long enough. I loved him and will miss him but I am sure that were ever he is he is at peace and has not only a "perfect heavenly body" (as his minister put it) but wings to fly as well.