Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
"No man is an iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee...."
It will be a whiskey day. Dan Flynn passed away this morning. I got the text early from Bill W, his best friend had left this mortal coil somewhere between 6:15 and 6:36 a.m pacific standard. His dad and brothers had fortunately just flown out from his native midwest and were with him in his last hours. As were Bill and Ann.
Dan was a good friend. Sometimes you get to pick your friends off the ideal friend template and sometimes you associate and develop friendships after long periods spent in the same foxhole. The nature of my relationship with Dan was of the latter sort. We fought in many of the same campaigns.
Dan's passing was the quickest I have ever seen. Fine a matter of mere days or maybe weeks ago, then his stomach bothered him, and then we come to find out that it is stage four pancreatic cancer that has already firmly established in his liver. A short timer, as they say in the trade.
He called me and I guess we shared a bit of gallows humour as our sort tends to do. "Beats getting hit by a bus old friend, you get a chance to say goodbye." I tried to give him the benefits of my experience with cancer but there wasn't much I could really say.
Dan is survived by his wife, who was a doctor, many friends and his family. I don't think he had any enemies. He wasn't that type of guy. He had a great hearty laugh that he used liberally. He was one of the titans in the jewelry trade and was known as a square shooter who always gave a square deal, high praise in a pond known for its rapacious predators. Smart as a whip.
Two years ago I met Dan at Valley of Fire in Nevada. I was with BigDave, fresh from his own chemo stint for the lymphoma. It was an amazing day, scampering around the rocks and petroglyphs. Jimi Hendrix's song fire came on the radio in a fortuitous synchronicity as we entered the park. It was a day that all of our collective spirits soared. I am grateful for that very special day we shared.
Dan had an interesting sense of humour, he loved Divine and John Waters, a cocktail, Waikiki, had a great ear and taste for music, I remember a wonderful night at Streetscene watching Cake with Dan, Bill and Leslie. He had a very ordinary palette and I enjoyed taking him to chinese restaurants with Cam and eating weird stuff in front of him that was sure to make him gag. Jellyfish put him over the top every time.
I'm going to miss Dan Flynn. It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance sir, I am sorry that you are going to miss the rest of the performance, you played your part excellently and you were loved by many.