I'm having a hard time writing this one. The man was larger than life. Larger than words. He was my friend, my mentor, my partner in crime. We laughed together, cried together. The man gave real honest to God bear hugs. He also kicked my ass. He was a wild man. He was a tender heart. He was a husband, and just about the greatest dad I ever witnessed (and not just to his kids). He was Paul Barclay, one in a bazillion. And he died on July 11, 2009. I was there. I didn't make it in time, but I was given the honor of being there. He was gone. I told him I loved him, that his wife loved him, that my life and the lives of a thousand others will never be the same because of him. (For those of us who knew him, we know a thousand is an understatement.) It was his heart that broke. I know this is not medically accurate, but a heart as big as Paul's was bound to break at some point. As it says in the Good Book, Paul had eternity in his heart. Now, he is brand new in the eternal life to come.
I decided in his honor to grow a mustache. I started growing it the day of the funeral. John, his son, inspired me. He's growing one too. Others are as well. My personal plan was that I'd sort of grow out the beard a bit and then shave it down. It's been a week, so I shaved it down yesterday. Oh man. It looks like I have a woolly worm Scotch taped to my lip. It's been on my face one day, and I can already tell this is going to be one difficult tribute to live with. But gosh darn it, I'm going to do it. At least another week. I'm fine as long as I don't look in the mirror.