August 15, 2004

I won't pretend we saw eye-to-eye on many things. We didn't. We argued over many issues, debated up and down the various boards in various shadings of language occasionally approaching civility. The last time our paths crossed, he deliberately created a false public persona for the specific purpose of utterly discrediting me and anything I could say thereafter. (This I know, because he stated his intentions directly and in print, albeit not to me.) Within that context, he almost completely succeeded. I don't know whether he did this because he believed firmly in a vision of society betterment almost completely opposite mine, or because of an intense loyalty to his friends, or because it was fun, or because he really didn't see it as having any potential to really harm anyone (it being "only" a message board), or even simply because he could. It did not matter then. It does not matter now.

I won't pretend I did not know he was very sick, and had crisis'ed at least once before that I knew of. Having worked in organ transplantation, I was in a position perhaps better than that of many to appreciate what that could mean. A 93.3% success rate for kidney transplants is only numbers applied to statistical populations, never to individual human beings. And yet, always, I saw and interacted with him never as a patient but as a person: and his own attitude helped considerably in that. There are not all that many who can easily resist the pull to excuse themselves within their illness.

Many saw him as generous, caring, inspirational. Some saw him as having a heart of pure gold. I did not see that, but then, I have yet to see that in any human being. I did see the sense of humour many remember, and a loyalty most seem to have missed. Certainly it took courage to face the world each day, and still make the effort to brighten at least a few people's days. A few have named him "rough around the edges." I did see a deep sense in him of kindness to some, but then I usually seemed to be arguing for the others. I seemed to bring out the worst in him, and perhaps he in me.

Above all, he was a human being, worth knowing, and who has enriched my life for the knowing.

Talon Squad Leader, Kevin Siminske: you will be missed.

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