Seven years ago today I lost one of my best friends in the whole world. He was the only person who truly understood me and supported me in so many ways. In essence I was like his son and grandson all wrapped up in one. Since his sons had little interest in the things he enjoyed, he bestowed upon me a lot of stories and anecdotes to get me through life, he took me under his wing and guided me. I owe him a great deal for who I am now as a person. My outlook on things changed thanks to him.

Harold Kaska passed away quietly in the early morning hours of April 29, 2001. He was 75 years old. I loved Harold like a father, like a grandfather, like a best friend. A lot of people didn’t understand him as a lot of people don’t understand me and vice versa. He was opinionated, considered himself perfect and in some cases above other people. And the fact so many people didn’t understand, for the exception of his wife Ceil, he WAS perfect. He was a genius, he had a high IQ and was incredibly intelligent. With that level of intellect comes a personality that many might find obnoxious, arrogant and ignorant of other people’s feelings.

I too have a high IQ, not as high as Harold’s, but enough to make me similar to him. I couldn’t ask for a better role model. Thanks to Harold I am more assertive now than I used to be, my mind is more open to possibilities than it used to be. I listened to Puccini and hated it, but the fact is…I listened rather than shrug it off and say I don’t want to hear it. Thanks to Harold my eyes were opened in many ways and in many ways I became a better person.

I miss Harold very much. In fact, as I write this my eyes are stinging. The pain of that loss is still felt very much. I pray for him often and I hope that someday I can be with him again. We can sit down and talk about the opera again and he can tell me those wonderful stories of his childhood, the time in World War II and so many other great experiences. For now, the memories I carry are precious and I cherish them deeply. Harold where-ever you are right now, my friend, all I have to say is…

If people had shut up and listened to what you were telling them and had done what you told them to do, the world would have been a better place. Now there is only silence and the world is a lesser place without you.

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