Matt's been friends with him for over 30 years and is doing all right, but I think it's weighing pretty heavily on him. When I think about a sixth grade Matt and a ninth grade Ken meeting up and how long they'd be friends, it blows my mind.
There are very few times I reach for ranch dressing without thinking of how he called it the anti-condiment. The jambalaya and oatmeal cookies I make come from cookbooks he gave me. He was good in the kitchen, and if he brought something over, you were going to enjoy it.
He gave. A lot of times he didn't have a whole lot in terms of money, but if he had something you needed, it was yours.
Our boys were wrapped around his finger. The treats didn't hurt, but even without them there was something that would elicit happy high-pitched anticipatory whines like, "Ken is here! Ken is here! We should run in circles!"
We bowled together for years. When Matt and I had the Honda CRX, we'd all ride to the alley together and Ken and I would trade off on the tiny shelf "seat" in the back. One would suffer through it on the way there and the other suffered on the way back. I was happy to see the end of that car, let me tell you.
He was a source of comfort when my dad died. Whatever it was that he said or understood or just listened to made me feel a hell of a lot better.
He was just simply good hearted.
I didn't think we'd be losing friends for years yet. It makes me want to tell everyone right now how much I love and appreciate them. Truly. Everyone who crosses our threshold brings something, is something that adds to the joy in my life. Every single person has something special that would be sorely missed if they were gone.
And right now I'm missing Ken.