Sunday, February 10, 2013
I hate writing about sad stuff but I need to get this out somewhere. I'm not good at talking about things like this and honestly don't have that many people I can talk to anyway. Writing always helps when words fail me verbally though.
These amazing photos of bears in the wild were taken by a talented and wonderful man, Philip Perdue.
I met Philip because he was friends with my boyfriend Shane and had been for years. Phil was one of the first member of Shane's car club that made me feel welcome and included me into their diverse group of members.
His talent with photography and the often very amusing stories that went along with the photos he took were one of the things I liked most about him. He had a passion for capturing the world through photograph and he was good at it.
I admired how upbeat & optimistic he was no matter what life tossed at him. He had some things he was fighting through and some days were enough to put most people into grumpy spirits. He rarely let anything get him down, though.
He had a great sense of humor. A little (ok a lot) weird at times but the man never failed to make me and those around him laugh their asses off.
As a free spirit myself, I can always recognize and appreciate that in someone else. I admired that in him.
Phil was one of the most genuinely nice guys anyone could ever be fortunate enough to know.
He was the kind of guy always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone who needed one without ever keeping score or expecting anything in return. He had such kind heart and so much joy to give.
Last night as I was getting off of a long 10 hour shift at work, my boyfriend called me from work crying. I was automatically worried something was wrong with him but he had just found out from a good mutual friend he shared with Phil that Phil had died unexpectedly. I was stunned to say the least. We had just gone through the death of a family friend a little over a week ago when the mother of one of the goalies on my brother's hockey team passed away unexpectedly and now this. I stayed on the phone with my boyfriend the remainder of his break then just sat in my car letting the news about Phil sink in. I ended up driving around a little bit then went to the boyfriend's job so I could be with him on his lunch break to offer comfort and maybe a few laughs. I didn't cry until I got home that night. I pulled into the driveway and the sky was so pretty with a few stars barely peeking through clouds. I thought of Phil and how much he loved photography and of a conversation we had about how gorgeous the night skies in Northern California were on clear nights. Then I sat there sobbing and realizing I'd never see him again. I'd never have another conversation, never hear his goofy laugh, never hear another story about a trip he went on to take amazing photos with crazy mishaps. Shane had wanted him to be the photographer at our wedding (we do plan to get married eventually) but now he won't be there walking around smiling his big goofy grin with his camera, making jokes and capturing so many moments through photograph.
He was always so friendly and genuinely nice to everyone. Until you did wrong to anyone he cared for, then he wasn't such a gentle teddy bear. He was loved and liked by so many, he will be greatly missed.
I'll miss that quirky little man with the big heart and goofy grin.