Michael Thiele is a woodsmith who makes musical instruments and playable furniture. He spends most of his life either in the shop or out on the road buying wood and selling his work at craft shows. In recent years, his travels have begun to inspire his own writing, so he sends me things.
Wednesday, Jan 16
Sarasota was about a half hour behind me this morning on my way out to Fort Pierce when I heard that my friend Sherman was gone. Son Joah had found him in his bed and knew right away that he had left. Sherman’s exit journey was a long time in the making. Between end stage COPD, heart issues and at least two different cancers the man was a walking bucket of bolts.
For years my friend had struggled with exponentially growing health problems, not all of which were related to the relentless deteriorating effects of aging on the human body. He was seventy eight - six months older than I. I had known the man for some twenty plus years and had been witnessing the decline for at least the past fifteen of them. Heavy smoking and alcohol consumption are not among the known aides to living a long healthy life. These habits were the foundations for his demise. He knew it.
So a dear friend has traveled on without me. I do not miss him. Not one bit. He lives in my heart and mind and I am warmed by memories of our friendship and times together. It is a long, interesting and often funny story of two men from biographically different planets who shared a deep and enduring relationship for what amounted to a third of their lives. There is an indelible quality to such things. I am writing about Sherman and me and our times together. I will share the story at some time in the future.
Can you hear me, Sherman? I love you.