Surprise! Brian at his birthday party.

Brian would have turned 60 a few weeks ago. It’s been ten years since his big 50th birthday bash, and that means it’s only a week or so until the 10th anniversary of his death. The birthday party did not carry any extraordinary significance at the time, but it’s loomed larger in the years since, as the starting bracket for “the last weeks of his life,” and this year I’ve been thinking a lot about him.

The world has changed so much since then. I wonder: what would he be like now, and how would he fit into this world? Our friendship was in the middle of changing when he passed away: it was early in my relationship with Anne, I was no longer a fellow bachelor, and he was no longer riding as much — or shouldn’t have been — and we were drifting apart. Where would we stand, as friends, now? It hurts to think this, but maybe I value him more than I would have, if he were still here and I didn’t have to miss him.

But I do miss him.

Godspeed you Brian, wherever you are. In Moab, or Jim Thorpe, on a goofy bike adventure or just sitting in some bar shooting the breeze, I’ll think of you as being there. I’ll remember you and smile.

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