Thank you for Being a Friend - In Memoriam
On February 10th, 2022, Ivan Pandev died. The memorial was held months later. These are the words I tried to speak.
44 years ago, I met the most important person in my life in the schoolyard of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption in Chateauguay, Quebec. I don’t remember having any friends before that. We just “clicked”. We shared a secret, you see. We both spoke English… It was a big deal, two anglophiles in French school. It was a catalyst to the next 44 years. We had plans! We were going to be famous, infamous! We were going to take over the world!
I’ll spare you the details of these grand machinations, but suffice it to say that y’all are lucky that at some point we realized that we just couldn’t be bothered.
Rather than bore you with all the stories I have of and with Ivan, I’ve decided to read two passages that Ivan, himself, wrote.
Here is his first memory:
As far as I can tell, my first memory dates back to 1972. It might be earlier, can’t be sure. I can see myself in my room, in my bed –a baby’s bed with bars. Is it at all surprising that I became such a McGoohan fan? I am looking at Granddad and thinking “Get me outta here!”
And here is how he viewed himself.
I’ve always been quite an egotist and very self-centered. At the same time, I care deeply about others, especially (and in order) the ones I love, the ones I care for (if you see the distinction), people I know and wouldn’t want to harm as well as humanity in general.
Ivan both cared and thought deeply. He was the only other person in this world that I had complete faith in; that I knew would be there no matter what. He was my best friend.
I miss him terribly and can really only say one more thing:
Keep on Thinking Free, brother!