Some things I just don’t understand.

Two days ago the world lost the nicest man you’ll ever meet, Mark Arnett. I’ve been fortunate to know him since our days at school. But it was when Mark and his wife Jackie moved to California that I really got to know him. For most of my years here in San Jose, I’ve lived alone. I have no family here, so the first few Christmas were alone.  When Mark and Jackie moved here they invited me to share Christmas with them. I’ll never forget the first Christmas those so so many years ago. Mark prepared one of his usual 5-star multicourse meals. A typical meal for Mark would start with slow cooking a hug rack of ribs with his own dry rub in a wood smoker at 5am just to tenderize them. While you had to endure the amazing aroma for the hours before the ribs, Mark and Jackie would offer smoked salmon, sausage, which may have been homemade, trays of appetizers,  steam muscles, soups and more. A meal at Mark and Jackie’s was always a long joyful  culinary event never a race to the finish. Then on that first Christmas we exchanged gifts. It was a Mark made hardwood cutting board. When I told him it was a thing of beauty, he told me the next time he visited it better knife marks in it. It’s used often Mark. After the round of gifts, Mark went to the Christmas tree to start another round of gifts which included me. I felt ashamed because I didn’t have a second gift for them. it was on my 4th present from them that I finally understood it wasn’t the presents they invited me to their house on Christmas, it was the friendship. They didn’t care about the presents, they cared about me. Oh, the next year and following Christmas’ I did bring more than one present. And this wasn’t just Mark on Christmas, this was Mark every day of his life. I’ve often wrote on here I’m a lucky man because I’ve got great friends. I’m proud and honored to call you a best friend. Take care buddy. Jackie, I’m so so so sorry.