There is someone whose life has somehow intersected with mine since I was a child. When I was small, I considered him among a pack of impish "bad" boys who might be the types to pull away your chair when you were about to sit down or park defiantly at the back of the classroom cracking private jokes while some random teacher droned on about historical facts and people like me covered their notebooks full of every useless utterance that emerged. They were cute and smart and funny - generally the kind of boys who would want nothing to do with people like me. He reminded me later in life that we once ran opposing campaigns for student council president - and defying all reason - I won - something that to this day I can not remember with any certainty. We were not friends, did not hang out together or really have much to do with one another - yet it is a fact in the smallish town where we grew up that you were never far from someone's orbit. Under normal circumstances after you grow up and escape that town...such people are no more than faces in a yearbook - and you might struggle to recall the name attached. But in this case, when I moved to Victoria - there he was - working for government and married to a beautiful woman I actually knew and had worked with for a short time. At one point he even became my boss - before his love of marketing took him in another direction. Our relationship had its ups and downs - which comes with the freedom you feel when you have watched someone's life over many years and you assume you have a license to speak up in ways you might not otherwise do had you not known them as a sullen teenager. Still over these many months since learning my kidneys are failing - he has been the one person who consistently and faithfully picks up the phone on a regular basis to see how I am doing and to fill me in on his life and his lovely daughters in a way that always helps takes the edge off my own circumstances. He has been a most amazing friend - an annoying little brother who evolved into an accomplished professional - husband and father - with a heart big enough to reach out to someone he once knew - from a place we both said good-bye to years ago - and let me know I am not forgotten.