Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

In Memoriam

This afternoon was russkay's memorial service. Unfortunately, I had a lot of set commitments and couldn't find a sane way to be there. But now that I've gotten to the end of the structured part of my day, it's worth taking some time to pause and reflect.

Jane and I knew Russ for nearly as long as we've known alexx_kay. He and Harriet always insisted that we simply call them "Mom" and "Dad", and we did so, because that's what they were to our circle. Twice a year they opened their home to us for Kitchencon, and they quickly became very much an adoptive family for us.

Russ was a senior geek -- into both tech and fandom a generation before us. He and Mom Kay were fun role models for us, and helped show that it was both possible and okay to grow up weird, while maintaining a good and real life. For a bunch of college students, all coming into our own weirdness, there was great comfort in that.

It was a real shock to us when Harriet passed away a few years ago -- while a generation ahead of us, they still seemed young in the grand scheme of things. He and I commiserated a little after Jane died, but ultimately I think he took it harder -- he just didn't have the energy to build a whole new life, the way I rather have. I wasn't totally surprised to hear that he had passed, but I'm still greatly saddened.

I am put in mind of what I've always thought was the most important paragraph of Masonic ritual. It's not secret work, so I don't believe I am breaking the rules too badly in quoting (probably with errors -- it's been a few years, and this is from memory), and it is apt:
Consider the hourglass. Observe the little particles which are contained in this machine -- how they pass away almost imperceptibly, and yet, in the short space of an hour, they are all exhausted. Thus wastes man. Today he puts forth the tender leaves of hope; tomorrow blossoms, and bears his blushing honors thick upon him. The next day comes the frost, which nips the shoot, and, while he thinks his greatness is still aspiring, he falls, to enrich our mother earth.
Russ did much to enrich our earth, helping the next generation grow up straight, and true, and delightfully strange. He will be missed.

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