He came to see me a few years ago. Came into the office in electric wheelchair. Operated with one hand, the fingers curled up. Learned about how lack of muscle activity causes the tightening. The only hand that now worked at all, after a teenage diving accident.
Wanted a will. More importantly, since few assets, wanted powers of attorney for personal care and property, drafted to suit his personal circumstances, rather than filling in blanks. Wanted to make sure that others could speak for him on the next medical round.
Had a good sense of humour. Communicating by telephone and internet, with assistance. Gave me self-made “elevator music” CDs as payment, since no money equals no fee here. Most lawyers are like this, one way or another. The secret lawyer story.
One of his favourite songs: The Beach Boys’ “Warmth of The Sun“. Loved the image of beaches and calm. This from someone who always risked overheating in the chair.
He lived very modestly. I thought he might want to get out more. Every time I asked him about an event, he declined; not feeling well, not feeling ready.
Lost touch. Walking to a class, encountered him on a canal walkway, looking out at the water. Mentioned to him that I had been worried. Read about somebody in a chair fished out of the canal. No suspicious circumstances. Said I was glad it wasn’t him. He said he knew the one fished out.
Always seemed to struggle to stay up. Most times successful, with wit and wisdom. “No Strings” calling card on the e-mail. Called my office and left message as to what he wanted on his gravestone: The Plot Thickens.
His sister calls me one day. He has passed. Cancer, refused treatment. Faded and died, at fifty. Did not call. Cremated without burial. No gravestone.
You don’t know him. Regrettably.