Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I write this open letter to you because I feel our conversations were ended too abruptly by nature. It seems like yesterday, when I moved into apartment 205, westcliffe, and I recieved a friendly drop in from my new neighbour. A firm handshake, and a warm smile welcomed me to the new home I would come to love so much.
It's only been 6 months since I was last in my apartment in tempremental london. I remember rather childishly picking up my hand and waving goodbye to it. For some reason, I felt compelled to say to myself I would be back. I wanted to be back. As usual, I put my keys into an envelope, wrote you a note and dropped it off in your mail slot.
I thought nothing of the fact you were out, and was actually rather thankful you called a little later to see if I had left yet. That goodbye was, to me then, a formality that would be reversed when I next visited you, and it has now taken on a value one cannot put a price on.
Thank you for being a great neighbour, friend and helper! Thank you for fixing my tap, my exhaust fan, cleaning out my fridge, taking care of my flat while I was on vacation. More than anything, thank you for being the warm caring neighbour you always were.
I never asked you how you got your knighthood, perhaps one day I will ask Victor. It might have been for the simple but rare kind of open warmness you demonstrated to me as you must have to others.
I believe you measure a man's worth by how many people remember him fondly when he has started on the next lap on his journey. If you are to be measured by those standards, you would fare better than most I know.
Rest in peace Sir William.
p.s. We never had a picture together. A picture of my apartment where we spent some afternoons catching up and your coat of arms (on your namecard) was all I could muster ......