This is not a funny story, but I believe a good one. Good in the sense of what kind of person Al was.
Al died last Monday, age 92. Just 92. His birthday was last Friday. He was not famous to the rest of us, just to his family, who accounted for everything in his life. Everything he thought and did, worked and planned for, was for his family. His graveside eulogies by family members made us friends realize what a hero they had lost. What a truly wonderful world if Al's book of Fatherhood were read by the men who need to.
Al was the father of Genna's very dear friend, Melodie, and we would see him at least once a year, especially since I share a birthday with Mel's youngest daughter.
I called Al my gold standard, for the way he lived life to the fullest, and for a long time. The other thing I liked about Al was, when ever we'd meet again, he would say, "John, you've lost weight!" It was never true, but I took it anyway.
Poignantly, the last time I saw him, he needed a walker to get around, and Father Time was hanging on his shoulder. He looked me in the eye and said, "John, I'VE lost weight," which he painfully did, but the twinkled eyes, the ruddy cheeks, and the ready smile were still there.
I suspected that might be my last visit, and I am thankful for it.