John had a real liking for taglines apparently - he bestowed two upon me. The first one should be no surprise to anyone - "The Girl on the Grid." He teased me incessantly for living and dying by schedules, getting excited about well-created spreadsheet and matrices and being a machine in some cases. In fact, he would leave me notes on grid paper just to reinforce his theory and thereby validating the tagline. The second tagline he gave me was "Blonde Roots. Really." I had a picture of my Granddad and I sitting on my desk and I was about three years old - and blonde. John would often tease me for being book-smart and lacking common sense - and specifically having no navigational sense whatsoever. Despite my dark hair, he was convinced the blonde roots were still there.
Our friendship really took hold a year ago - during a 24-hour, round-the-clock, work frenzy known as CreateAThon. I was on John's team and we really got to know each other well and had some quality bonding time through that experience. Nothing says bonding like a 1:30am walk to The Interstate - a notoriously gay bar - in Akron. I suppose he thought it would be good to wake me up if the cold air in the wee hours in the morning didn't do it. He was right. This was the first of many experiences we would have and share for the next year.
He introduced me to a new realm of restaurants, drinks, live music venues, speak-easies and bands. He also instilled in me an appreciation for experiences. These should not be understated. He invited me into his world - knowing it would be completely different than what I was accustomed to. He lived life to the fullest - experiencing every moment and challenged me to do the same.
I lost John a week ago today. I did. His boys did. His parents did. Numerous other friends and family. We all lost John - and what a loss that is. I still have not fully comprehended his expedited departure despite the fact that I attended his funeral only days ago. It was too soon. Far too soon for a person so full of life, energy and amazing talent. He loved life and that passion was contagious. To say I will miss him is a gross understatement.
|John and I - CreateAThon 2012|