Never Forget: A Tribute

Tribute to a friend now gone

Gone too soon


It is almost midnight on a cold Friday night. A gentle snow falls outside in marked contrast to the spring-like weather that graced the Midwest during the last few days. Lights brighten every room in my house, but I am alone.

How can I describe the thoughts inside my head? I see the world much differently in light of the changes I’ve lived through in the last few years. So much has happened, and I am at a loss to know how to proceed. In the past, I would seek counsel from an old friend who shared many an adventure with me over the years: a friend now gone since his death, almost four years ago—his advice vanished with him.

I have spent the last two hours pouring through his old letters and journals, searching for answers. While reading correspondence dating back more than thirty years, I am reminded of my friend’s tremendous intellect and gentle wisdom. He was also a gifted writer, although he did not realize it. There was a lyrical quality to his work that he did not suspect. He was a natural leader and could be quite inspirational when he wished.

I debated whether to write about him this evening, wondering if providing a peek into the soul of this visionary genius might be seen poorly by those who knew him—after all, I do not wish to violate the privacy of his wife and children. I am convinced he wished to be remembered, however, and in that spirit I offer this humble tribute: a brief, random collection of “quotes” from his letters and journals. He wrote for his own benefit, but inspired everyone around him.


Random Thoughts


“…You must check out the Humboldt Range in Northern Nevada, the Lower Sonoran Zone, British Columbia in the fall and Cambridge in the spring.” --1975--

“…There’s one final bridge to be crossed that will determine whether we make it or we don’t.” --1976--

“…My pilgrimage is far from over, but it begins to take some kind of discernable shape.” --1980--

“…I want people to look back at my life and be inspired by what we do. I want to be changed as a result. I want to help build a culture that has not been seen before.” --1981--

“…The city should be a garden where the seeds of ideas, creativity and curiosity can be planted, nurtured and brought to full bloom or weeded out as needs be done.” --1983--

“…I’m living in the best years of my life so far.” --1989--

“…We need more than survival skills to be complete human beings, we need prosperity skills. One I have, the other I need to work on.” --1993--

“…I don’t know that the garden awaits but Greater Purpose certainly does. That is not a battle to be won, but rather to be lived with in constant awareness of its incredible power. I am up to the task. I must make certain the rest of us are, too. –1994--

“…Life continues to train me with gentle ferocity…nothing less than all I have to give is required to achieve all that I work for.” --1995--

“…I just want to reach a point where the mundane problems are solved and the people I care for can be happy.” --2001—

“..From all lands and places he comes, the one who looks inside your heart and knows what dwells there. He cares not how much darkness resides within, for he knows that in the beginning and in the end, we are all beings of light. He has plumbed the depths of the dark and bound it to the earth. He has saved the lost souls from possession. He journeys toward a transcendent future and the unification it holds. Angels guard him and demons serve in fear. He stands at the gates of the City of Men. He welcomes all with an open heart to join in the song that is Bensalem.” --2006--


It is extremely important to have someone in our lives we can look to for advice, support or inspiration—someone who believes in us. We might turn to God, a priest or minister, a friend, a teacher, or a co-worker. We might perhaps look to a family member, be it a brother or sister, a parent or grandparent. Whoever they are, they pick us up when we are down, exhort us to look inside when we doubt ourselves, and are happy for us when we do well. I can no longer turn to this friend for support and advice, but he continues to inspire me. His passion for life, his love for his family and friends, and his integrity in dealing with people still touches me. Long ago I was once referred to by someone who needed my help as a Realized Master. I am not—but my friend was.

Rest well.

(It is hard to believe my friend has been gone for four years.  I still miss the guy.......)


An Update


Several years have passed since the death of my friend, and I still mourn. I can't really describe how the lack of his presence has affected me because, after all these years, life goes on. Not for him, of course, but for me. For all of us.

Do we forget? Does time erode our memories to help us heal? Or, do the fading memories simply add to our grief? Things get better with time, we are told, but do they? We grow older, but what truly changes for the better? It is difficult to imagine that life is better without our loved ones than it was when they were here, enriching our lives. Is it? Is life better?

I can't say. I choose instead not to forget--to continue to be inspired and supported by my memories if nothing else. I choose not to move on--not really. I elect to feel the pain of my loss periodically, in remembrance of the friendship I once enjoyed. It is a celebration of life. It is a realization that whatever I do or wherever I go, I am not alone.


Not really.

Thanks for your time.


Comments 42 comments

Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

Ghost Whisper 77 6 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

Mike,

What a beautiful tribute to your friend-his words were wise and he shined his light on you in ways you may not see. I don't know anything about 'realized masters' but I do know that many people find the answers-simple-and move on to higher realms when they do find that understanding. He is spiritually changed--that is all... Sounds like he achieved much here in this world.

You are in my thoughts tonight :)


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Ghosty! Thanks for your comments. I am so glad you read this tonight.

He did accomplish much in his life, although he always dreamed of doing more. The beauty of his dreams were that they were never for himself. They were for his wife and his daughters. He wanted things to be better for them, and for his friends and his parents. He was very selfless.

Thanks for your beautiful comments--tbey inspire me, also.

Mike


_cheryl_ profile image

_cheryl_ 6 years ago from California

This is very touching Mike. I believe we are truly blessed when we are able to make life long connections with souls such as your friend's. It's priceless to have been touched by one who spreads their passion by their actions and continues to inspire you long after they've passed. I really love his quote that speaks of Greater Purpose and living in constant awareness of its incredible power. Thank you for sharing his wise words with us.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Cheryl, thanks for your comments. We are blessed when we can connect with people in a lasting and meaningful way. I met my friend in first grade and remained friends with him until his death, a few years ago. He had an IQ of 156--if he wasn't a genius, he was close enough for me. He saw so many levelsw to life, and the way he lived it was truly an inspiration.

Thank you so much for your kind words.

Mike


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Mike - you are blessed to have had such a friend - and still do - through much of your life.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute. Your friend isn't gone as long as he is still alive in your thoughts and your heart.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain

This is lovely Mike. Have you thought of writing him a letter? No, it isnt mad! Write him the questions that you want to ask and tell him how you feel.

This would be lovely with a white candle flickering as you write in the peace of the day. Then leave the words for as long as you feel you need - at the end, burn the letter and see the love rise up to greet him. It is then that the answers to your questions will be revealed to you and you will know he is with you.

You dont have to display this comment - it is up to you and, of course, you have the free will to complete this task, but I bet you will be surprised to feel him close if you do! x


thevoice profile image

thevoice 6 years ago from carthage ill

hubber terrific great read


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 6 years ago from Michigan

Mike, I have heard it said that if you find one kindred spirit friend in your lifetime you are blessed beyond comprehension. I see you had a kindred spirit friend and the treasures of that friendship are worth more than all the riches of the universe. You express that in this hub. I read his words slowly and meditated on the depth. He surely reaches way inside to bring out such beauty. You say he was selfless .. I see you that way too Mike .. and surely this friend's influence touched your life on many levels. The picture you used to illustrate was deeply moving.

Beautiful tribute .. beautiful friend .. beautiful Mike! Thank YOU!


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

Mike-- a beautiful tribute to a beautiful writer, I must say he had talent. He will be missed because of it.

Rated and Stumbled


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

drbj, thanks for reading. I agree, he is still here.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Shaz, your suggestion is wonderful and I will try it. I have written letters to someone else at their suggestion, and I have learned the power behind it. It is a terrific idea and I thank you for it.

Thank you so much, Shaz. The idea you have offered me here is greatly appreciated!

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

thevoice, thank you for visiting my page and offering your comments. I appreciate it.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Mekenzie, thank you so much for your kind words. He was indeed a kindred spirit, and in many ways acted as a guide in life's journey. I am not afraid to walk alone, but I do miss him. He was a good person.

My sincere thanks to you for your response, your words touched my heart this evening. I am grateful for your very kind words about my friend, and about me.

Thank you so much.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Rebecca, thanks for reading. My friend was indeed a gifted writer--better than he knew, I think. He could look inside his own being and express what he felt with grace and eloquence. He was indeed quite gifted.

Thanks for your very kind comments, and I appreciate the rating and stumble.


bulletproofchris profile image

bulletproofchris 6 years ago from hutchinson, ks

wonderful writing, mike. thanks for sharing something so personal and close to the heart. look forward to your next hub.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Chris, thanks for reading. I appreciate your feedback--this wasn't an easy thing for me to write.

Thanks again.

Mike


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Oh, my, thank you so much for sharing this, Mike. The message from your friend from 2006, especially. That was one very special person, and I know you miss him, and now share your loss.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Paradise, thank you for your comments. His words from 2006 were amazing, weren't they? He was gifted and completely unique--and it is a shame he is gone.

Thanks again.

Mike


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

A great tribute! When I read my dad's journals, it's almost like talking to him.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Habee, thanks for commenting. I was pleased to get a hold of my friend's journals--they are quite inspirational, as I am sure your father's words are, also.

Thanks again.

Mike


Just A Voice 6 years ago

What a beautiful inside this man had.

I am so glad you decided to share him with us here and am sad that now, having been introduced to him, he's already gone.

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend, for deep friendships are so very rare. And am so glad that you have his journals as remembrance...what a treasure.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Voice, thank you for reading. My friend was a genius and perhaps too intelligent for his own good, but he lived a good life. Everyone who knew him mourns his passing.

Thanks for your kind words.

Mike


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

He was a great man and youre greater because you are his friend, -- good people flock together, anyway, he cares a lot but not for himself, that makes him great Mike, for sure he knows you remember him, friends are forever remembered, Maita


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Thanks for your kind comments, Maita. He was indeed a very good and selfless man. He is greatly missed by his family and friends.

Thanks again.

Mike


hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

I guess I've found the right hub. He seems to have been a good person as you say. Who knows why he had such experiences? Maybe he was too sensitive or sensible, I don't know the correct word. This hub is very beautiful, I'm sure he appreciated your friendship a lot.

Rated and stumbled.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

hypnodude, yes, this was a tribute to the fellow I've mentioned in a few other hubs that witnessed some of the same unexplainable events I did. He was indeed a good man, and he did seem to have an affinity for the unexplained.

Thanks for reading, and also thanks again for the rating and stumble. It is appreciated.

Mike


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

What a beautiful Tribute. I took my time to read it and you must feel like you've lost part of yourself but the good thing is, you kept all his letters etc since all that time. You can reflect on them for as long as. Sometimes, it will make you smile, sometimes it will bring a tear, but you'll feel his presence near. You guys were like brothers.

A lot of people go through life without experiencing such a wonderful bond with a friend. Treasure the gift forever. Do take care, Regards.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Elena, thanks for reading and offering your comments. He really was like a brother to me, and I often feel his spirit. I am overjoyed to have so many of his letters and journals to help keep his spirit alive. I don't go through them a lot, obviously--but it is nice to be able to connect with his spirit in a tangible way when I wish.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, and for understanding. You said it exactly--we were like brothers.

Mike


rml 6 years ago

This was a beautiful tribute and a wonderful way to remember your friend. It seems you thought of him almost like a brother. I am certain he would be pleased to know how fondly remembered he is.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

rml, thanks for your comments. He was like a brother to me, and he is still greatly missed. I'm glad you feel he would be pleased with my tribute, that means a lot to me.

Thanks again.

Mike


susanlang profile image

susanlang 6 years ago

Mike, good hub and friends are forever.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Susan, thanks for reading. Friends are forever, and he was the best.

Mike


Moulik Mistry profile image

Moulik Mistry 6 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

We have to stand with everything that we come to face in our life - a nice tribute...


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Moulik, thanks for reading and leaving your gracious comments--they are much appreciated.

Mike


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Having those letters and journals are a treasure and will rekindle some of the thoughts and advice shared through the years. It sounds to me as though you and anyone in your friend's circle of family and friends were blessed by his very being. He may be out of sight, but is now living in another realm and still influencing the people he loved. You are indeed fortunate! Rating this beautiful.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Peggy, thanks for reading and for your kind comments. He was a pretty amazing guy, and he was always trying to help other people. That was one of the things that made him special. He still influences us from whatever place he now resides.

Thanks again for reading, I appreciate your stopping by!

Mike


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk

I'm glad I stumbled upon this hub of yours just now, and truly enjoyed it. Sometimes, I marvel at how powerful words are... how one can recreate any memory and immortalize any life through them. Perhaps, when we're gone, these words are what will live on... just as your friends have after he left you. I especially liked that last quote (2006) btw... very beautiful!

Also, I wanted to thank you for your kind words in the forums today, but words sometimes lose their depth when spoken before an audience. So, I hope you know how much I admire and respect you as a writer and person. In fact, many of the qualities you mention in your friend, I see in you too... and whoever called you the 'Realized master' had it nailed. Take care, and keep inspiring us with your grace... :)


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

MOW, thanks for stopping by, and for your kind words as well. I appreciate your taking the time to say hello here. The forum comments were heartfelt--I have great respect for you as a writer and thinker. You set standards we all should aspire to. For someone of your ability to take the time to compliment me is extremely high praise.

My thanks to you as well for your comments about this hub. I still miss my friend sometimes, even though he has been gone for awhile now. He was a good friend, husband and father.

Thanks again, especially for your final comments--I am grateful for your kindness. Take care.

Mike


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

It is very special indeed to have such tight bonds with others and to see the value and special qualities in them. What a tribute and def one never to forget. You Mike are blessed! :)Katie


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Katie, thank you. I am indeed blessed to have such special friends, and the guy I wrote about here was truly a great man. He is very much missed.

Thanks for stopping by, Katie.

Mike


mkrandhawa profile image

mkrandhawa 5 years ago from India

great hub now i am your follower


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

mkrandhawa, thanks for reading, and for your kind words. Take care.

Mike

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