I just had word that my old and dear friend Henry "Ar" died 2 days ago. God bless him. We had known each other for about 45 years off and on. We met when I was visiting family up in Kingsport TN back in '61 or '62, and went out a few times while I was there. He was courtly and sweet. We became friends and remained in touch off and on over the years (mostly off until the last 3 years when he finally came, kicking and screaming, into the electronic age and we could correspond via e-mail and talk via cell-phones).
His oldest son called me today - he was going through all the numbers programmed into Henry's cellphone to notify people. What a hard thing to do.
Henry lived in a small town in a deep Southern state. He was married and divorced with children and grandchildren. He adored his grandchildren. When he called he would talk about them and I would talk about ours. We kept saying we should get together, but his work and my disability kept that from happening. He developed heart and lung problems over the years - some probably genetic, some related to weight and lack of exercise. I don't recall him smoking, but he may have.
On Sunday he died. I keep remembering the young man he was back in '61/'62: The fun we had that summer, the times he came to Atlanta and I would see him again (with husband in tow), the phone calls and silly e-mails. He never learned to cut off all the "tags" when he forwarded e-mails.
May God bless him and keep him.