Monday, July 06, 2009

Memories of my friend, Gib

Jul. 6th, 2004 | 10:03 am

mood: contemplative contemplative

His wife asked us to write something about him today. This is what I wrote:

It is hard to sum up a person in a few words. You can only say who they were to you and your own perception of who they were as a whole. It is interesting seeing so many perspectives on one man.
When someone leaves this world and everyone starts sharing their stories, more pieces of this ever-evolving puzzle that is human spirit begins to emerge. The only things we have left of someone after they leave us are our memories. These memories have a limitless value. The stories and memories are the fingerprints we leave behind.
When I think of Gib, I think of a very kind man whom I not only had the pleasure to work with but someone who I also considered a friend.
He had a very fatherly quality about him. He would check in on me and he always remembered everything I told him about the goings on in my life. He was quick with good advice but never intrusive. He had so much love for his own kids that I think it spilled over onto any other young people who came into his life. The kindest thing he ever said to me was that he would have been very proud to have a daughter like me. That may have been one of the nicest compliments I have ever received.
He spoke so much and so highly about his wife Rebeca I felt as though I knew her even though we never met. It was obvious how much he was in love with her. His care and concern was not only touching, it was inspiring!
The last time we spoke, he told me to never forget just how important family is. To not let my child grow up without spending loads of time with her and to always let the people that I love, know just how much I love them. In retrospect, I think he may have known that that conversation might be the last I ever had with him, so his words carry even more weight. It was the push I needed to leave my job and follow my dream of writing and working from home and being with my family. I only wish he were here to call up and share the exciting news with. I know he would be proud and supportive, as is his way.
If I had to choose a single memory of him, I think I would choose when we went to dinner while at a trade show in Utah a couple of years back. We had just finished a huge meal and he kept saying he could not eat another bite he was far too full. Then the waiter brought us the dessert menu.
Gib ordered a piece of caramel covered cheesecake. When it arrived at the table it must have been the size of his head.
He said, “Oh no, that is so big, I could never eat it.” And then took to the task of consuming the entire thing!
Afterward, he leaned back in his chair with a huge grin and patted his now certainly full stomach and laughed, “You know, sometimes you just have to treat yourself, it is the only way to enjoy your life!”
To me that story sums up Gib O’Neill. To me he was a person that learned along the way just how important it is to allow yourself to completely enjoy the simple pleasures in life and not to take the unimportant things too seriously.
To always leave room for dessert.



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