Friday, August 23, 2002
...often paint a portrait of Andy that my own words can't. Here is another essay written by Jimmy.
Those who knew Andy best knew that under his gruff exterior was a compassionate man. My first real memory of this is from when I was about seven years old, shortly after my dad returned from Michigan.
I hadn’t seen my dad in some time. It felt like years, but in reality it was probably about two months, as near as I can nail down. He came and picked me up for a Saturday and Sunday together. He returned me to my mom’s house at seven or so in the evening on Sunday sometime in February. I remember it was cold outside, and dark, the time of year that makes even the strongest soul feel sad and melancholy.
After a farewell with my dad that left my heart in my throat and tears threatening, I went inside to my room where I found a coloring book and a stuffed animal that I had gotten during happier times when my dad was still at home. I crawled on my bed and proceeded to weep bitterly, clutching those items. Mom was at work that evening, and I felt so totally alone.
After a while, Andy heard me and came up to my bedroom. He asked if there was anything he could do. How I wanted to run to him to be held and hugged, as at that age Andy and I “stood” eye to eye, the perfect height to get a real good hug. I now wish I had. At the time though, I wished for nothing more than my dad and I shook my head. Pride is a stupid, stupid thing sometimes. For the life of me, I can’t remember why I couldn’t bring myself to go to him. I simply remember sitting there and continuing to cry as if my soul had been touched aflame.
Andy sat there outside my bedroom doorway for what seemed an eternity. Just his presence helped me get through one of the roughest times in my young life. Looking back on it, I feel that his real compassion was that while I couldn’t reciprocate, Andy made the effort to help me through my trial. He sat there with me as I cried and just being there made my life just a little bit better, even if I couldn’t accept help from him then.
How I loved him for that.
How I love him for that.
Tuesday, August 20, 2002
I wanted to share another sweet coincidence. Our anniversary would have been last week, on August 14. Naturally, I was feeling a bit down. I was at work that day, staying busy. I hadn't told anybody that it was my anniversary, because I was afraid sympathy would make me cry. Anyway, I was checking my in-house mail, and there was a packet of flower seeds. I thanked my secretary... but she said she didn't put them there. I asked every teacher and employee, but nobody knew how they got there. I am sure somebody put them in my box by accident. The sweet thing was the type of flower that they were.....
(What a neat coincidence. It was like he gave me flowers for our anniversary!)