I don't know how it ended up that he called me Dawnski, but he did and it stuck. I, in turn, called him Johnski. And so it went, for the next 5 years. That's how long I was fortunate enough to know him. Most of my co-workers were lucky enough to know him for 15+ years. Some of them for 25 even. I'm convinced, however, that if I'd only known him for an hour, my life still would have been richer. I always said that John was the kind of guy who knew a lot about everything. Some people, when you show interest in something or are inquisitive about something, they really talk your ear off or go off on a tantric about it for what seems like forever, and you lose interest. That wasn't the case with John. When he talked, I listened. I was so interested in what he had to say.
It seriously could have been a conversation about peanut butter. John had a way of keeping you interested no matter what he was talking about. He was about my dad's age, so he was fatherly but friendly all the same. He and I talked about the simple things but we also talked about the bigger things. When he got sick & went out on disability & later retirement, we emailed back and forth. John gave me a lot of advice. He spoke with knowledge & compassion... he understood things. He didn't judge people. He loved his wife with his whole heart and then some. He loved his kids as much. He was blessed with grandchildren. He was blessed with life long friendships. I was looking through my saved messages from him today and one of them was dated July 3rd, 2008. John died yesterday. July 4th, 2009. Ironic. The text of it:
I am feeling the same as when I left there, this seems to be as good as it gets.
I have been enjoying the time I have with Pamela, without her I would have cashed it in long ago.
May God bless you and help you on your path to happiness Sometimes John's messages were funny, other times they were more serious. Whatever they were, I was glad to get them. Sometimes, he didn't want a response and he'd tell you that. When things were looking grim, he'd wanted us to know and wanted to say thanks for keeping him in our prayers.. but he'd tell you right away, that he didn't want any response. It was hard to not reply to him and tell him "things will get better, I'm praying for you"... but I respected his wishes. Sometimes you just want to make a statement... that's not open for discussion. I got it. He kept in touch with almost everyone in the company, updating us on the current status of his condition. I think, for the most part, everyone was "prepared" for John's death but in the end, even when you've started to accept it, it still hits you like a ton of bricks. Cancer sucks. Period. John & I didn't really talk "religion"... we both believed in God and we both trusted him with our lives. We touched on the subject a little bit.. John knew where I stood with my Faith and that it was my GPS. I prayed for him everytime I said my prayers at night and whenever he crossed my mind. How blessed to have known such a great man. He was many things to many people. He was a wonderful being all around and he was a great friend to me... I appreciated him. I think he knew that. I hope he knew that. He'd made an impression. He'd left a mark. I sent him this poem one time (that I found on the internet)...
I Said a Prayer for You Today
I said a prayer for you today
And know God must have heard.
I felt the answer in my heart
Although he spoke no word!
I didn't ask for wealth or fame
(I knew you wouldn't mind).
I asked him to send treasures
Of a far more lasting kind!
I asked that he be near you
At the start of each new day;
To grant you health and blessings
And friends to share your way!
I asked for happiness for you
In all things great and small.
But it was for his loving care
I prayed the most of all!
... I said it wasn't written by my hand, but felt by my heart. I hope it made him smile. I sent him the link to a song one time that I wanted him to listen to. It had made me think of him on so many occassions. Believe by Diamond Rio.
He's sent me this message in an email once, and I'm glad I held on to it...
Do not get misty eyed as you read this, but sometimes the heart must speaknot the brain. I have few friends in this world, but even the ones that I do have, I do not knowhow they feel spiritually. As you know, I have spent the last two years taking some really ugly drugs with some interesting side effects. I go in for tests every six months to see how the tumors are doing.For the last two years, every test showed that the drugs had slowed the tumor growth to aboutone inch every six months. This was helpful for me emotionally, for awhile. But as time has gone byI have been slowly giving up because even two inches a year becomes very large as time goes by.I have prayed for guidance from the Lord, and many other things. Yesterday I received the latestreport on my tests I took last week. Not only have the tumors not grown any but they have started to shrink. I believe in talented Doctors and the new things that they come up with , but as you and I know, there is something much larger then that at work here. What I am trying to say is Thank You. I have received many prayers for my health frompeople I don't even know. But for some reason my heart (or the Lord) is telling me that you are theone that made a difference. I do know how you feel about your relationship with the Lord and I truly feel that your prayers tipped the scales in my direction. I have also thanked my wonderfulwife X for without her I would have died a couple of years ago, She is my reason for living. Thank You, X
A wonderful person has left this world but Heaven is welcoming him.....