The message we have been dreading came yesterday. Our good friend Andy has died. He fought on bravely and much longer than anyone thought he could after being diagnosed with cancer last year.
We last saw Andy in July last year when we visited him and Doni. That's a picture when we went out to dinner on the last night. It was after his diagnosis, and yet you would have never known it from how much he did to make us feel welcome and at home. On the other hand - typical of him - he was more than ready to talk about what he was dealing with. Or not - our call.
Andy was my counterpart in Canada, and we first got to know each other when we discovered how much in common we had running the businesses. He always was my best source of ideas when I had a problem to solve.
But the business stuff - while a running conversation between us - sooon became secondary to friendship. We had so many good times together. He made the trip to Australia a couple of times, and we were able to teach him the joys of an Aussie barbecue with lots of good red wine.
Andy was one of the funniest, most laid-back guys I knew. If you wander back among the earlier posts of this blog, you will even find some of his comments on my writing. My favorite was when he decided I was the opposite of concise and succinct by marvelling at my "verbosatility".
He was also sharp as a tack and amazingly creative. It was great fun and a great privilege to know him, and it sucks to think that we won't be laughing with him again.
Probably the most fun we had was when he joined LK and me for a holiday in Budapest in 2007. There's a great picture of him from that trip, and I think it says as much about his personality as any words I could use, so I will end this sad post with a happy picture.