Dear Universe,

Thank you for bringing so many wonderful people here to this planet and to the tiny corner of it that I live in. I feel so much gratitude for their presence in my life.

Recently, one of my dearest friends lost her dad. Her loss is immeasurable, and not something I can speak for. But I can speak for my own smaller loss, for here was a man who had been in my life since I was, oh, I don’t know, around 14, when his youngest daughter and I became friends.

As a father of four, this man welcomed so many young people, friends of his children, into his home, always the warm and affable host. This man tolerated my own teenage foolishness and contempt for adult sensibilities with good humour. This man was always smarter than I realised and way smarter than me. This man gave me a reference that got me my first real job. This man took me to Miettas Lounge Bar for coffee after some staff function where I had too much to drink, and then made sure I got home safe and sound. This man gave me another reference that secured me a second, and more fun and exciting, job. This man came with his wife, my dear friend’s mother, to see my new-born babies, and walked the floor of our old Warrandyte house with a crying, colicky Max on his arm. This man has always looked out for me, for no other reason than his natural kindness.

So, thank you, Universe, for letting me be a small part of this man’s life; and thanks, not just for me, but for so many others who have also been all the better for knowing him. It’s a good thing.

All my love,