We met some 40 years ago. It was intense and it was also casual. Both of us just doing our jobs, nothing more than that. And at the same time, we were brothers in arms, a bond that couldn’t be stronger. Depth without depth as you called it.
20 years later we met again. Both of us in different roles and both of us picking up that intense bond again. And we reconnected again like only brothers in arms can. It was different, my brother. We respected each other, without competition. And this time we were opponents. We argued with different priorities. We discussed our points of view. We did all we could to conquer, beat the other. Opponents! Our brains were our weapons. Associated at different sides of the conflict. We collided like I have never collided with anyone before and after that. You demanded all of me, all I had. And I demanded nothing less from you.
No longer casual, no longer depth without depth. This was our finest hour, or that was what you told me. I thought my finest hour was still to come and we would cross our verbal sables again. And we did, but not as intense. Our friendship was deeper as it has even been before, and our professional paths kept crossing. I never told you this, but I was happy that during the next legal battle we were once again at the same side of the conflict. I should have told you this but I didn’t. I should have told you this, Thomas. You are and will always be the one and only opponent who demanded everything. You were and will always be the only opponent who almost brought me to surrendering.
I should have told you this, but I didn’t. I am happy that I told you how important our friendship is. Our last call, when you told me how tired you felt and how afraid you were that you wouldn’t have much time left. I told you how important your friendship is to me. How much your loyalty means to me. Tears come to me eyes when I recall your words. Grateful tears. I am grateful for your friendship, for your loyalty, for your wisdom.
Slowly, very slowly, I start to realize that I am blessed and grateful for all the years of very special friendship. Slowly, very slowly, I become aware that I am sad that you are no longer with us and at the same time happy that you were with us. Slowly, very slowly, I am learning to accept that I will have to learn to just be grateful.
I miss you, my brother. I slowly realize that I will miss you until my last breath. I miss you, Thomas. Brothers in arms, brothers in minds, brothers in spirit. I miss you and I will only miss you more with each and every day until we meet again. We will meet again, my brother, but not yet. I’m not done here. Until then, I am thankful for all you gave and all you taught me.