Brief Reflections Remembering Phil

We’re at the movie theater in Detroit before I got married. Phil is walking ahead of me with a big tub of popcorn and Diet Coke. I’m trailing behind. He finds a seat — not too close, not too far away. “This good?” he says. 
He walks in and takes a seat. I take a seat right next to him. 
“What are you doing?” he says. 
“What do you mean ‘what are you doing’ I’m sitting down!” 
“Nah girl. No. This ain’t a date. I need a buffer seat so I can spread out with my popcorn. Move over.” 
I let out a little harumpfh as I moved over an extra seat so as to have the “buffer seat.”  
…We go to many, many, many movies together after that, but always with a buffer seat. 
Me: “I don’t know, Phil, I just have too much on my plate right now. Two babies, a new job, we haven’t unpacked yet… I don’t know anything about Texas, it’s super hot here, all the time and I learned I have to spray for bugs every season or there’ll be cockroaches in my house. Cockroaches, Phil. It’s way too much. I’m overwhelmed and sad and can’t figure it all out. It really stinks.” 
Phil: “Sounds like somebody needs to put on some big girl panties and deal with it!” 
[Messenger video rings on my phone, I pick it up, Phil’s wandering around a busy Mexican market] 
Phil: Hey, I’m going to show you these shirts, you tell me what color to get Elias. 
Me: What size are those?
Phil: L 
Me: Nah, he’s XL these days. 
Phil, to the market guy: Extra grande, por favor 
Me: Extra grande? That sounds kinda rude. 
Phil: Yeah, well they don’t even have a name for my size, so hush. Take a look at these… red, brown, I already got him a black one and a red one, blue, green, yellow, this one is kind of a nice tan color, ooh, look at this one, kinda purple-ish? Which one? 
Me: Either the light blue or the yellow. 
Phil: Ok, I’m getting both bye. 
The day before he died I got this message: “Hey!!! I’m home. Pooped. Happy. Dogs are okay. I just love being with you guys. I wish I could have stayed another week to do that music project and be some kind of support to you and Elias. It’s only a plane trip away, so if my being there can help you in any, please just call. I had a great time! Thanks, again!”
My response? “Thanks, Phil! You’re the best.”
I meant it, but if I had known it would be the last thing of significance I would have ever said to him I would have said so much more. I would have taken more time to explain exactly why he was the best.  He was the best because he required a buffer seat, because he told me to put on my big girl panties and because he bought both of the shirts, every single time. Gone way too soon, but gone having left an incredible trail of goodness behind.
The gospel of John ends in this way “But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” I absolutely feel that way about him. I could write a novel full of things he did, said, and taught me, and I know many others could do. 
Rest in peace and rise in glory my dear friend. 

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