The best memorials are not made of stone or written in words.
They are written in our lives.
To know anyone is an enormous blessing. To think that out of all the energy in the Universe, it would ball up and condense into life, on this planet, in this species, in this state, in this town, and then be someone we meet and befriend - well, it's pretty incredible.
In that respect, anyone that leaves us, leaves us too soon. Though life never has lived by our timetables.
It's hard for me to even remember how or exactly when I met Peter. I associate him with Scott's Folkatorium, though I can't be sure if we go back further.
The Folkatorium was a magical place. It was like some sort of vortex. Scott found this space and drew anyone with positive energy to it. I feel in love with it instantly. And it was impossible to not like Scott. He was like what you'd expect Santa to be like in real life.
Or the Dalai Lama.
So it's been at least 6 or 7 years since I first met Peter Hessman. He was a poet. With a smile the size of the grand canyon.
His health was not great when I met him, and I never knew him in great health. He was always resigned to his wheelchair.
Yet, his spirit was unchained. People have told me that I am the most positive person they know. Well, I think Peter puts me to shame. Underneath his straw hat, his eyes were always twinkling and a smile was always perched upon his lips like an eagle hunting a fish.
Peter was a poet through and through. He would write all the time. About anything, mostly small things, things where humor or a pun could run wild. In fact, I had hardly ever heard a poem of Peter's that didn't include some pun or that wasn't written in a humorous nature. Only once, after his cancer returned, and he was facing the inevitability of a nursing home.
He loved poetry so much, he would host poetry nights at his house, since it was hard for him to get out and support his friends. They were always sweet gatherings lasting into the night. His soft voice reading and laughing until it grew raspy.
When my father passed, Peter made a point to attend all the Evening for Chuck events I hosted. No matter how difficult it was to get there, he would come rolling in, grin in place. Not only that, he would always leave me with a touching poem he'd written about me at some point during my set.
Whenever any of us vegans brought food to his house or an event, he would try it, and he would be so grateful for the friendships that even if he hated the food, we never knew.
A gentler soul I have rarely met.
A kinder person there just doesn't get.
He's an example for us all.
Namaste my friend.