My friend, Andy Remic, passed away just over a month ago. It wasn't unexpected, although it was sooner than we'd thought.
Andy was a straight-talker. He had no time for people who were dishonest or messed him around, and he could be quick to see red. There were a couple of times at conventions, for instance, where I'd have a quiet chat to try and calm him. And since I'd known Andy, there were certain events and people towards which he was angry.
But at his wedding he was the calmest, and most serene I'd ever seen him. He seemed accepting of much of what had happened to him. I sensed he had forgiven much and felt comfortable. He told me that he was progressing with his new novel, and that he was in the right headspace to be writing. He told me he was past the anger he had held. And he told me it was all due to his new wife, Linda.
I don't know Linda anywhere near as well as I knew Andy (and that wasn't anywhere near as well as I would have liked.) but I like her a lot. She was good for Andy, and I got the impression he was good for her.
Andy told me how much Linda meant to him, that she was his rock and had eased the anger from inside him. He told me how special she was, and that he didn't know where he would be without her.
Don't get me wrong, he also spent time talking about his boys, how much they mean to him, and how proud he was of them. But when he was talking about Linda, it sounded almost as if she had saved him.
And my heart aches to see Linda going through all this.
Despite his nagging, just spent a fantastic afternoon in the company of Andy Remic. Talked books, writing, publishing and music amongst other topics.Once again I leave feeling inspired and having learned so much.Thanks, Andy.
Tomorrow is his funeral, and although invited, I can't go for reasons beyond my control. And I'm absolutely gutted. I want to be there to remember, to celebrate his life, to mourn his untimely passing, to wish him Godspeed, and to be with others who feel the same way.
I'll be doing all that, but from the comfort of my home.
Farewell, Andy. Sleep well.