Remembering a dear friend…again

Every year around this date, plus or minus a week, my dear friend Pierre always likes to throw a curve ball at me. Even though it seems that there is really nothing going on he always find something. He would have been 35 today. He died when he was 24, way before he should have and he has always been a constant reminder of why I’m alive and why we all should enjoy every single day that we have on this earth.

Yesterday was Saturday, August 22 and typically on Saturdays I’m at the dojo. I have now achieved my second degree black belt in Kobudo as well as the other disciplines, something I never thought I would ever achieve. Today I was assisting and an orange belt student on a particular kata and I was reminded of six years ago almost exactly to the day because it was six years ago today now being August 23 that I graded from my green belt in Kobudo, just as this gentleman is going to do next week and I found myself standing in the same place where Sensei stood that day and to watch me perform the same kata. That day, I froze and I recounted briefly the story to Sensei that I recall him going to his office in disappointment. I beat myself up on it for the next 45 minutes, then 15 minutes before the end of the class, he tapped on his window and gestured for me to do it again which I this time did without fail, so I think. When I was finished, I turned around and he simply turned to his desk. As I walked out of class, 15 minutes before the grading, I was presented with an invitation for 2:30. That was on August 23, 2003 that I achieved my green belts in Kobudo. I had recently taken up karate as well as tai chi. We had a blackout before which it’s very probably one of the most interesting relationships that I now have to date great nonetheless that certainly has kept my interest. That same year, I’d travelled to India and England twice and Hawaii.

Two years ago today I was on a plane heading for Hong Kong and spent the next five months there finding myself while having a heck of a time studying but I made it through. I was also reminded of that trip recently. A friend of mine has also begun her journey away from home for an extended period of time and though it seems daunting when you first get their you know you can make it through.

I’ve only had two regrets in my life. One of them was resolved recently so now I only have the one, which I will never repeat. I actually went out and found two have the people that I’ve lost touch with. One of them was the infamous one that got away. What happened to the one that got away? Well he seems very happy, probably with a life that I would not have given him or could not have given him. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. He was one of the regrets, but now I’m presented with an interesting opportunity: I haven’t talked to this person in more than 20 years and I’ve recently reconnected with them. It presents something interesting and hopefully it will continue to be so.

Pierre all due respect with a candle in your honour as I do every year and a drink to your health and help to celebrate your life. Funny enough this October 31 just as your sister did many years ago, my friends will be married and I will be one of the brides’ maids, 11 years to the day you’ve died I will celebrate their wedding. Another interesting year nonetheless. In your memory Pierre, I toast to you and play for you our song. Rest in peace, dear friend.

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