One of my biggest fans died this past week while we were all busy measuring snow and figuring out how to get out.
I should say “you all” since I wasn’t figuring out how to get out. Actually, I live in a neighborhood where we’re almost never stuck because of our location and because of important people apparently living or working close by.
But I would have stayed home forever. For an introvert, a blizzard is like vacation. Nobody asks you to go out or do things. You just stay home and everyone says you’re smart to stay home. It’s lovely.
But while I was home enjoying blissful solitude, Steve Dorman died.
As with so much of life’s important news these days, I found out on Facebook.
I don’t mind hearing important news on Facebook, to be honest. I was immediately connected to kind and wonderful messages to Steve and his family from people I don’t know but wish I knew. Steve was much loved as a person and as a musician. His wide circle of friends, musicians, family and acquaintances is a really sweet circle. I hope I’ll meet some of his circle in my life.
I call Steve my biggest fan because we met when he wrote to me about my comic strip. While it’s always nice to hear from a fan of the strip, Steve wasn’t just a fan. He was a student of the strip. Each day, he provided me with a casual rating of how much he loved that day’s humor. If the strip involved anything about dating, women or dogs, he had more to say.
Steve knew I have a non-cartooning day job so he was very respectful of my time. At the end of the workday, when he knew he wasn’t disturbing my billable hours, he would send me a message. The message was always positive, always uplifting, always affirming and always delightful.
Even when Steve got sick and our chats turned to combinations of comics and cancer, he was delightful. He might moan and groan for a moment, but he would be quick to apologize for sounding down. I would then be quick to remind him that he was a human and not a robot and that he was one of the most gracious, sensitive, aware and caring people I had ever met. Even during cancer.
And he was.
Steve was a wonderful person who, on some level, felt obligated to let me know how much joy my humor and life perspective brought to his daily journey.
I know I thanked him daily, but I hope he understood how very much his kind and generous words made my daily life better.
We all need others to help make our daily lives better. Because life is often difficult, challenging and less than kind.
We all need a Steve Dorman in our lives. And I miss him terribly even though I was on the outskirts of his circle.
I hope to be a little more like Steve Dorman to others, going forward. I think his legacy of loving, caring generosity is a legacy I would like to honor actively.
Thank you, Steve. I miss you. And, in a very modern, virtual way, I feel we were kindred spirits. Thank you for the daily gifts you gave to me. They cost you nothing and yet provided me with so much.