(Two because sometimes it's necessary)
You are loyalty and kindness personified, a devoted dad, a fabulous cook, an avid fisherman, the kickass host of Friday 55, Mr Knowitall in the best sense, a lover of all things Michigan and Harley Davidson, the glue in any circle of friends, the love who helped his friends smile in the darkest of times.
I was honored by your friendship, blessed by your kindness, cheered by your humor, encouraged by your patience, exhorted by your gentle wisdom. I already miss your laugh and the way you said my nickname. I'll never forget your smile, your eyes, or your hug. Rest in peace, ride on in glory. Love, Trini.
I cannot believe he is gone. I am gutted. We first became acquainted when he began blogging and I commented in a case of mistaken identity. I thought he was someone else I knew and had finally started a blog. We emailed back and forth a couple times before I realized I was totally mistaken. It could have been completely awkward but Galen thought it was hilarious and was so gracious. We became fast friends....for real. We had fun trading trivia. He tried to trip me up on cultural references from his own childhood and was surprised that I could keep up. He said I was an old soul and he forgot to grow up was why we got along so well in spite of the age difference.
We talked about how much fun it would be to meet but never much thought it might happen since I had no cause to go to Michigan and he had no cause to come to Pennsylvania. In 2007 I went to Texas for a wedding and noticed several of the flights had layovers in Detroit. I thought, "Hey, this could happen!" Respective work schedules conspired against being able to spend a day or two there but I planned a layover of several hours when Galen and Signgurl said they could manage to get to Metro for a quick visit. Bonus! I'd get to meet both of them. They brought Roxi Moon and Frogger along for the ride. The four of us had a little party in some area where non-passengers could go and where I wouldn't have to go through security again. Signgurl had awesome food for us as we all chatted away. Galen sat there grinning ear to ear the whole time. When it was time to go he wrapped me up in the biggest hug of my life. Somewhere there is a picture of that moment but sadly I can't find it.
We shared confidences. I was honored that he'd trust me with some of his deep hurts. I was blessed that he helped me bear some of mine. He certainly helped me endure the year Calypso was sick. He always wanted to know how my kids were and often talked of his own. He'd share about his lifelong friends and his concerns for them. He didn't describe himself as such but I could tell he was the driving force behind a lot of social activity whether it was among friends, family, or coworkers. He was a big clown but he was also incredibly intelligent. He was just too humble to toot his own horn though he'd be happy to fart the alphabet for you if you asked. He had purchased a fishing cabin within the last year and since giving up season tickets for U of Michigan had taken great joy in spending weekends there with friends or his son. He told me a few times that retirement was beginning to look attractive. I knew he loved his job and worked hard at it. I also knew he was deserving of some leisure after his own terrifying health scare a couple years ago and a lifetime of hard work. I anticipated a happy retirement for him spent fishing and riding his Harley. Sadly, his great big heart gave out at work this week. What I wouldn't give for it to still beat strong in his chest and to share another hug.
G-man, I am so grateful you were my friend. Rest in well-earned peace, ride on in glory. Love you always, Trini.