Grieving . . .
"If You Know What I Mean"
I shed a tear this morning when I learned of the death of a man I never met in person.
I knew him through his blog which revealed things about him through brief and cryptic conversations he had with his friend Philip. Here is a memorial account about him which appeared in this mornings' Globe and Mail.
His name is Tony. He was homeless and well known on the street in his neighbourhood on Toronto. He was befriended by a fellow named Philip who helped him publish his blog, which I have faithfully read for some time.(I invite you to visit it and read it.) It is a blog so different from mine in that his postings are brief and reveal small details of his life and thoughts, without editorial content.. Over a long time I found I came to learn about him and his life. Some of this is written about in the newspaper link above. I came to like him. He was witty. I am not sure he understood how much. He was quick to respond when someone said something he found foolish, but without malice. He accepted his life as his own terms.. He never complained or blamed others for his circumstance.. He was at home among the people in his neighbourhood.
His friend, Philip, not only recorded his postings but also was his foil in the brief conversations which so often made me smile or illicit a response from me with his hint of an emotion.
Here is a posting that touched me very much in its' pathos with his quiet acceptance of his alienation from his daughter and his understated gratitude of the brief visit.
"“You know who I saw yesterday? You won’t believe it. It was my daughter and my two grandkids with her. I didn’t even know it was them when they were standing there. Then there’s a boy, he comes up to me and hands me a $5 bill. So of course I say thank you and he says that I shouldn’t be thanking him, I should thank his Mom, you know, Tanya. So there’s Tanya standing there and we talked a bit. That was a treat"
This passage could very well have ended with the phrase he seemed to use a lot. "If you know what I mean!." I often found myself looking for it in a new posting.. It made me laugh every time he used it.
I shall miss Tony's blog , reading his efficient poignant postings. I wish I had met him. I hope he knew how much he was appreciated and how he touched peoples lives. He certainly touched mine, "If you know what I mean!"