Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tool for the Journey #36 - Gratitude for my greatest teacher!

 Scott Blair Whitlock - April 28, 1957 - July 7, 2017

Deciding everything is falling into place perfectly as long as you don't get too picky about what you mean by place. Or perfectly. - Brian Andreas

It has been said that comparison is the thief of joy. Scott Blair Whitlock never compared himself to anyone…and perhaps this is why his default setting was joy. Scott traveled light in this life both physically and metaphorically. He didn’t let things weigh him down. Levity was what Scott brought to the table more than anything else. He was a human helium balloon, and he had a magnificent capacity to lift up the world around him.

Scott told me once that all he ever wanted to do was connect people and make people happy. He succeeded at both of these aspirations. His vivacity, cheerfulness, sense of humor and silliness all meant everyone wanted to be around him because being near Scott was such a fun, happy place to be. He was one of a kind, he never apologized for exactly who he was and he never once twisted himself into a shape unnatural to him in order to please someone else. What you saw was what you got – and if you were blessed enough to call him your friend, then you were blessed indeed.

Scott was a man’s man, but he respected women. He could hang with the guys, play or watch sports and be 100% male, but he was always a gentleman around the ladies. He embodied good manners (thanks to his amazing parents) and when the going got tough he always stood up and did the right thing, even when ‘the right thing’ wasn’t convenient or popular. He was the guy who would give you the shirt off his back without a moment of hesitation. He was not two-faced, he had integrity and you always knew where you stood with him. He was a true and loyal friend in an age where this has become sadly rare. 

On Friday, July 7, 2017, Scott departed this life, and those of us who loved him have been left with a hole in our collective hearts deeper than the Grand Canyon. In my eulogy for Scott, I described him as a ‘Technicolor, super-sonic, whirling-dervish rainbow’, and this is as close as I can get to being able to describe with mere mortal words, the most magnificent, glorious, big-hearted, exquisite, stunning man I have ever known. On some other planet there may be a word for what Scott was, but we don’t have such a spectacular word in any human language I am aware of.

Scott Whitlock reminded me of everything there is in this world to love. He was my greatest teacher and he taught me many things, but one lesson which stands out in my mind is the importance of malleability. He was flexible and didn’t cling too tightly to anything…he was malleable, fluid and buoyant. When plans changed, he changed with them. He’d smile and say, “Well I guess we’re going this way now.” He met each day of his life with a smile and every life he touched was better for the encounter.

The world will never be the same without his laughter. I was blessed to dangle my feet off the edge of the world with him for the time we had. I am forever better and forever changed because of who he was to me and how he was with me. There are many things I will forget over the course of my life, but the times I spent with Scott Blair Whitlock and the lessons he taught me will not be among them.

Thank you for everything, Scott!
Fare thee well!

I carry you with me into the world, into the smell of rain & the words that dance between people & for me, it will always be this way, walking in the light, remembering being alive together. – Brian Andreas