I keep seeing on Facebook people posting a sign that reads "I wish Heaven had visiting hours." This made me think today of an old friend who passed away a few months back, Randy Price. Before his passing, it had been literally years since I had seen him. We "served" together in a Star Trek fan club many years ago, which he became the "Commanding Officer" of eventually. I thought of all the good times we had at conventions, BBQ's with the group or his family, going to live WWF (now WWE) events and screaming at the top of our lungs for our favorites.
We had a blast together, until the day that a misunderstanding happened and that world fell apart. Grant it in the Grand Scheme of things, it was nothing but a fanboy squabble, but at the time it was huge. By the time it was said and done, I had said some things that I deeply regreted shortly afterwards and still do. That misunderstanding lead to a separation of friendship that lasted years.
Then last year, I got word that Randy had died unexpectedly. I, along with many others, was stunned. My wife and I attened his memorial and my heart leaped at the sight of all his Star Trek family in full uniform to honor him. I did the first thing that came to mind to honor him and the only way I knew to truly apologize to him, and that was to stand guard for him one last time.
So, I took postion at the foot of his casket and there I stayed for 3 1/2 hours while his family and friends filed past this great man saying their final goodbyes, coming to attention while they did so. Randy's sister Penni, asked their brother Steve what I was doing and he explained that I was the Captain's Guard when we were in the Star Trek group and I was standing guard for him one last time. She wept.
When it came time for everyone to file past one last time to say goodbye and to give condolences to the family I did so. When I came to Penni, she told me that Steve explained what I had did and why I stood post one more time for Randy and she thanked me for him and the family. She also placed in my hand a homemade pin that she was wearing and explained to me that it was designed and made by both her and Randy. The pin was simple grey and black in the shape of an R in the Klingon Font, the initial of Randy's Klingon House. She told me that she wanted me to have it for honoring her brother, though both she and I could hear him in our heads telling me "Boy! You better sit your butt down!" Penni and I hugged one another and cried for a few minutes in each others arms.
I wear that very pin every time I suit up in my uniform in honor of one of the greatest men and Klingons I know. In closing, do I wish that Heaven had visiting hours? Yes, so that I may stand before Randy and tell him that I am sorry and how much we all miss him.
As always, may the Force be with you.