It’s hard to form the words, ignite the flame of remembrance, when my memories are few.
It’s hard to eulogize a man I barely had the chance to meet, but that one last time, the last of a handful of times, I think I may have seen the lion man.
Sharing a beer together, watching him watch all of you, I saw what you have always seen.
I saw him look across the room with a small smile, a simple smile, giving him a rosy glow as he sipped slowly and watched and watched and watched. And when it was time to go, he turned to me and nodded his goodbye from his watchful eyes, accepting me to his domain.
He was a lion. Strong, steady and fearless, he led his pack with fierce love. He stalked through a world of deserts, jungles and muddy swamps, picking his fights thoughtfully, cunningly. When he fought, it was a fight for truth. It was powerful. It was deadly. It was real. When he walked away, it was with his head high, his shoulders back, his spine still. He faced every day with the kind of bravery found in an undisputed leader. He was a lion man.
A lion doesn’t lay down to die. A lion fights until the end. A lion leaves a pride.
So be a strong pride, for the lion man. Be a true pride. And go off in every direction and make a lion out of another man. Set your spirit down in stone and watch your pack carefully, lovingly, and remember the lion man who made you, the lion man who led you, the lion man who left you standing still, in a world of deserts, jungles and muddy swamps, ready to be a lion man.