Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Reluctant Eulogy

It was a year ago this past weekend that I lost one of the closest friends I have or ever will know--Michael Edmonds. He was my "partner in crime", my brother, compadre, my laugh meter. We shared as many commonalities(both children of the Christian faith; both divorced; both desiring to be writers; lovers of good comedy and strong drama; able to break the other up with a good joke or funny line; co-workers in the field of animation preproduction) as we did differences(he from the deep South, I from the upper Midwest; he white, myself black; he of the conservative Republican persuasion, myself a progressive Democrat), which made for a unique friendship and those are rare indeed. Hardly a day goes by since his passing that I don't think of my friend. There have been scores of jokes and movies that I would love to call him up and chat and laugh about; I would love to hear his thoughts on the current presidential race, even if we probably wouldn't agree on a candidate; and he would have been an integral part of my wedding last October. My life has not been the same now that he's gone and memories, however vivid or not, do not nearly suffice. And talking to the departed seems to work best in movies and on tv. Even the following poem, written for a memorial service that some of his friends here in southern California had for him last year, barely scratches the surface of honoring who he was and meant(still means) to me. All I can say is that I hope whoever read this blog entry will be blessed, as I feel I have been, to know a friend like my friend Michael. "Nuff said"!!

(for Michael)

by Joseph Powell

This is for my fallen comrade,
for my brother-in-arms
for my partner in crime.

I am crying copious tears that
I never expected to shed---
So soon, too soon.

I am not asking God to answer me why
He took my friend,
for I don’t expect Him to tell me;

but I am asking Him to turn back the sun
for at least one time,
for one more day to hear his laugh,
for one more day to see that mischievous twinkle in his eye,
for one more day to see that “shit-eating grin”.

But I don’t expect Him to do that either.

But in time, I hope He will strengthen my fragile memories,
let me hear his laughter in my head,
let me turn those tears into twinkles in my own eyes,
let me wear that “shit-eating grin” that he loved so much,
as I remember the bond we shared
as comrades in the struggle,
as brothers-in-arms,
as partners in crime.

In closing, I will ask of God one thing I expect He will grant—

that I not forget.

© 2007 Joseph Powell


Anonymous said...

Michael was so special, the minute i met him felt like I had known him for years. He was a wonderful man and friend to you and I miss him too. He was lucky that so many remember him with such love and very lucky to have you, Joe.
love you
your wife

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this Joe. I,too, still think of Michael daily in some way or another. I, too, miss his hardy laugh, this jokes and his hawaiian shirts.
Thanks so much again.