We miss you Marlin, God knows how we miss you already. The pain and grief that this world has shown is now blissfully over for you on this Earth, and, if I know you, you're already telling us to move on. But you've left such an indelible imprint & such an unforgettable legacy for us to remember you by, it is so very hard. This place will never be the same. We all have friends to get us through, but we only had one like you.
If there ever was a modern-day warrior, my friend, you certainly filled the bill, living every grown moment of your life as if it were you against the world (I see your mother looking over at you right now, smiling & nodding). You were independent, self-sufficient, fast living and generous to a fault. You showed us how to party and still go to work in the morning, and you showed me that there was always room for entertainment no matter how tight the confines.
You would have fit this world so much better in the time of ancient Rome & the gladiators, and, man, you would have kicked Russel Crows' ass. You seemed to like life a bit rougher than the rest of us, something I never could figure out. We thought you'd grow out of it, but we were thinking as if you felt the same as we do. Not even close. In fact, I still don't know WHAT was in your mind most of the time, but I know now that it wasn't any better or worse than the way we live, just different. And you really liked that, being different. Even when you would get a nice taste of domesticity & satisfying responsibility, like the rest of us lived, you'd still buck it right up to the very end. I'm sorry if I didn't treat you as an equal all the time, because you certainly were. It's so easy to think we're better. But we're not.
Marlin was every bit of the man I am, which might not be saying much, but should make you all step back and think about what I'm saying. The important things that a man thinks about when he's by himself, things like honesty and fairness, balance and humbleness and selflessness. Perfect he was not, but who can say that Marlin Norgaard didn't live these goals. I'll bet that he didn't spend too much time dwelling on them, but nonetheless, he possessed almost every single attribute that I look up to. He'd split his last 10 bucks with you even if he wasn't getting paid again for months. He'd have his share packed up on his back when everyone else would be trying to get out of their share. And he'd walk 10 miles to deliver a tow chain to a stuck buddy. Who can say that he didn't live a proper life, simply because it wasn't like the norm? I can't. When he meets my father I will be so proud for dad to see the kind of friends that I chose. Marlin is a perfect example.
Pissed at him? Sure, of course. I bet I cussed him out more than most. Especially right now...He shouldn't have left that way, dang it. YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE LEFT THAT WAY, you sonofabitch!I am extremely angry for him leaving us alone. But isn't that what warriors do? They are not here to make life easier for the rest of us all the time, but to get through it with as little distaste as possible. And to leave a visible wake in their path. Marlin was never afraid to leave a wake. I think that he insisted on it, quite frankly.
Marlin Norgaard, I promise you that every time I see an old growth tree, every time I lay my head to rest at camp, and every single time I see a bald eagle, I will look up and smile, and imagine that you can here me when I say...
I MISS YOU, MY FRIEND