I had been notified by e-mail, Facebook post, and finally phone call that he'd taken a sudden turn for the worse. I could read between the lines. I'd been ready for this to happen for a couple of months - not wanting it to happen, really, but knowing that the odds were going in the wrong direction. Since the Toaster finally went into the shop this morning, I was ready to just sit home, catch up on my Business Law work, and get the bad news second hand.
"If you want God to laugh, tell him 'bout your plans" - Stacie Collins
P had other plans, and I wound up driving with her to Baltimore to see therevdrnye for the last time, and with that the day was pretty much shot. Dutch, digex, JT and therevdrnye's sister were all in at the death with us along with a minister whose name I didn't catch (he was in civvies and at first I thought he was some friend of the family I hadn't met yet) but who said some consoling things while I wasn't really listening. I was trying too hard to keep from crying.
We go back a long way, therevdrnye and I. We first met as students at PG when we combined with Mark T. to form a wargames club, since all three of us were into wargames and figured we could euchre the college into spending some of our student activity fees on wargames. We were right. One of those games, fortunately or unfortunately, was the whitebox edition of Dungeons and Dragons, and the rest, as they say, was history. We remained pretty close friends for the rest of our lives, managing to stay in touch even after I got married and moved out to Minnesota. We had a lot of common interests: SF, gaming, food, and to a certain extent TV and movies, although he was much more interested in those (to say nothing of comics, LARP, and a bunch of other stuff I was barely aware of, much less interested in) than I was. He had an enormous network of friends from all kinds of likely and unlikely places, because he was the kind of guy that people liked: a gifted storyteller, a good listener, and possessed of an iron probity that allowed you to trust him with your wife, children, money, secrets - whatever.
Unfortunately, with the exception of his work at Intercon, PSI, and Digex, that didn't translate into steady work. His job at Digex disappeared about a year after the merger with Intermedia, and after that he couldn't seem to find another job. He started having serious health problems a few years ago - water retention issues, back problems from the weight, and issues related to the diuretics - but until they get done with the autopsy we're really not going to know what got him.
We're going to need a big space for his wake - people are talking about Roy's Place, but I personally don't think that's going to be big enough. Personally, I think we ought to wait until Balticon next year, because he and it are so closely associated, but it's not really up to me.
Fuck. I still can't believe he's really dead, even though I was there when the doctor made the call.