I lost a dear friend last week.

We first learned our friend Jay Morgan was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in April, I think. It was a shock, but we know so many people who have battled the big C and won; all summer we were optimistic that he’d #FuckCancer.

We kept in contact, visited Jay in the hospital when chemo wiped him out, and got together a couple of times when his immune system and energy allowed. Not often enough, I’m afraid.

We were pretty devastated when 9 days ago Jay’s husband Heather let us know that the doctors were estimating that he had less than a week to live. We made plans to see him less than 48 hours later – but it was too late. I never got to say goodbye. I think I’m going to regret that forever.

morgan_strong2I hope Jay knew how much he was respected, loved, appreciated, and honored. There had to be at least 150 people at his memorial service. He touched many lives and made us all the better for it.

I will miss his laughter, his smirk, his dirty sense of humor, his common sense, and his empathy for others.

Shawn, too, will miss him very much; the two of them were like peas in a pod, and it’s a shame they didn’t meet when they were younger. (On the other hand, maybe that’s for the best — there’s no telling what plots those two mad scientists would have hatched together. Thankfully Shawn still has all his fingers and toes….)

Jay’s condition was one of the items which spurred Shawn to make a dramatic change in our own lives. It was his diagnosis which gave Shawn that impetus to say, “We need to live more for the moment. Why put off traveling for retirement, let’s make the most of the time we have now” and so our house is going up for sale and we’re getting ready to travel the country in the 5th wheel.

Thank you, Jay, for inspiring Shawn to take a leap of faith into this very different lifestyle. I know it was unintentional, and does not in any way lessen the sadness of your passing. It’s just one more example of how you made a difference in the lives of those around you.

I’ll miss you, buddy.