I wrote what follows a while ago, so many thoughts of what to say and never the right time to post it. I want to have this for myself to remember how I was feeling. But. There is both reluctance and hope that others might know my feelings.
My mind knows the reality, but my heart copes better with fantasy.
The day John left us, the earth shuddered. I shook myself, in shock. I looked around. What? What? There must have been a universe quake, a rift in time and space so enormous that it put us in an alternate universe with no way back. A universe where John does not exist. There are relics. But no John. John always listened carefully in circle and felt the quality of all the persons in the filk room, at that time and in that place. Present. Then he would know what song would make a follower, at that time and in that room. Not necessarily that his was the unique follower that must be sung. Often he was delighted with alternatives that presented themselves. Now, here, am I. In this alternate universe where John does not exist. What follower can there possibly be?
My brother – companion, confidante and counselor; protector, sounding board and shoulder to cry on; partner in adventures and misadventures; slayer of childhood monsters under the bed and later, small rodents in the kitchen (equally scary). John was always ready to debate a point, discuss an idea, offer an opinion. He would gleefully share a new discovery, a good book or a bad pun and I could always count on him to hold up the mirror when I was having trouble seeing my way clearly. John was my compass for navigating life.
I first met John in London, Ontario, shortly after my sister started dating John’s brother Paul. He seemed kind of scary, but once he started talking and our shared interest in science fiction became apparent I warmed to him. I remember being amazed at how John’s stammer would completely disappear when he sang. In those days he always had an enormous appetite as well; I remember that when he was visiting at my parents’ place I always made sure to load up my plate, because with John around, there would be no second helpings. I’ve since learned that he was working in a lumberyard at the time. Once when I lived in Toronto I had to move my stuff a few houses down the block; with almost no notice, John happily (and effortlessly) helped me schlep it all. I will always remember John as bright, cheerful, confident, intellectually stimulating, challenging and larger-than-life (both literally and figuratively). I will miss him.
Allegra has posted a link to Brooke’s photos of John in the Links section.