I lost my best friend Thursday. I knew of him for 20 years, I got to know him as a close friend for 8 years.
I got to "meet" him eight years ago when I was at a VA appointment out of town. I saw him there and said this isn't the town bar he is always in. I didn't know his name, or even that he was a vet. I just new he was a fixture at the local bar. The VFW shuttle bus left him behind and he was stranded. I gave him a ride home and got to know him. A typical Vietnam vet. He had a hard life, drinking... I helped him and his family the last year. I was there for him the start of his illness and I was there at the end a few min. after he passed at home.
I did the checks on him to verify he had passed. He was terminal and we let him go home.
He was a pot smoker and I think that helped him through. He had Hep-C and a liver from a hard life. He stopped all drinking and smoking when they put him on the liver donation list. He lived a final clean year, but probably not as comfortable as it could of been. His decline started when he gave up the herb and wasted away.
You are and will continue to be missed Steve.