Updated: Sep 20
It's Friday, which means that it is time to announce our Star of the Week!
Future Stars of the Week will be chosen from reader nominations. But since we are at the beginning of this project, I will be the one nominating our Friday Star of the Week until the time when nominations from readers start to roll in. Please send me your nominations, and please see the end of this post for more details on how to do that.
I am taking a totally different approach this week by honoring someone posthumously. But I don't want this to be a sad or somber post. I want it to be a celebration of my friend's life!
This week's star is my dear friend John, who died suddenly and unexpectedly on April 2nd of this year.
I don't remember exactly when my husband Tom and I met John, but our best guess is that it was sometime in the spring of 2005. Tom and John's wife Linda were teaching for the same non-profit at the time, and we met John through Linda.
The four of us hit it off immediately, and we spent a lot of time together over the years. Linda and John were about the only local friends that Tom and I shared together as a couple, so it was a big deal for us to have another twosome to hang out with.
I am quite sure that Tom and I spent more time with John and Linda over the course of our relationship than we have spent with any other couple. The four of us did SO many different things together in the past 15 years.
There are so many things that I appreciated about John and that I continue to appreciate about him even though he is no longer with us.
John was a person who laughed easily and often, and he was always ready to have fun and be silly. I think you will see what I mean when you see the pictures below. If you have read even one of my other Star of the Week posts, you know how much I value silliness and laughter!
I think it can often be hard to find people outside of your family unit who you feel comfortable traveling with, but hitting the road with John and Linda was something that was never difficult for Tom and me. The four of us went on a number of trips over the years, including several weekend trips to Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia.
In 2017, we even went to Europe together and spent a week traveling around Germany. It rained the entire time we were in Munich, but we made the best of it and still had a great time! Visiting the Hofbräuhaus in Munich was one of the big highlights of the trip for me – we even made some new friends, who just also happened to be from Raleigh!
Luckily, we had some better weather on the rest of the trip. We took a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle, visited the town of Bamberg, and finished up in Berlin.
I did feel bad for John whenever we all went out to eat because he was forced to put up with the dietary restrictions that the rest of us have! He was the only "normal" eater in the group. But he was a trooper and didn't complain about it (much!!!)! 😉
John was a bit of a night owl, and he did not function well prior to having his morning coffee! In recent years, the four of us often went out to breakfast, and it was always interesting to watch John progressively perk up after he had consumed a few cups of joe!
I really like to play mini golf, and John (and Linda, as the second photo-bombed photo shows!) were always happy to indulge me in this pursuit. We played more than a few rounds of mini golf over the years!
John always wanted to know what was going on with Tom and me. He gave his complete attention to everyone he interacted with. Even if he didn't understand or agree with what I was saying, I knew that he was listening to me. I think that fully-engaged listening is sadly becoming more and more rare in society these days.
John was an amazing father to his three now-grown children. He also totally doted on his five grandchildren! He was always ready to hang out and play with them, and I know he loved them all very much.
John was an avid Beatles fan, and a big fan of music in general. He played the piano and the guitar and even composed a few songs here and there, which I admired very much!
John was a natural choice for Star of the Week this week. Our trip to Germany took place exactly 3 years ago this week, which is what originally led me to think of John as the recipient for this week's award. In fact, on this date 3 years ago, it was our last full day in Berlin together.
Also, due to COVID concerns and restrictions on the size of public gatherings, a memorial service for John was not able to held back in April. His family is holding a memorial service for him tomorrow.
I knew that this post would put me in the proper frame of mind to celebrate John's life fully at the memorial tomorrow. There will be Beatles music, there will be a slideshow presentation, and there will be speeches. And, most importantly, there will be SO much love.
I can't end this post without sharing just a few more of my favorite pics of us spending time together over the years:
I am so grateful to have had John in my life, and it is with deep and reverent joy that I posthumously honor him with the Star of the Week award. Rest in peace my dear friend. I love you.
I hope that this tribute will inspire you to cherish the people you love because life is short! How can you appreciate an important person in your life today?
Would you like to nominate yourself or someone you care about to be our next Star of the Week? To read the rules about the nomination process and get more information about the free gift that U.S. winners will receive, please click here. Then submit the Nomination Form!