Jason Giecek -- Tinkerertink69 -- was one of the earliest people on my Open Salon friends list.
I consider him a littermate, since we joined OS about the same time, and his demented overnight posts from the bowels of gambling casino IT hell made me howl with laughter.
When he was "outsourced" by bean counter jackals, all of us knew what had happened and were appalled. Still, he attacked the issue with his customary wit, irony, humour and sarcasm, and when he recently landed another job, we were happy for him.
Throughout it all, he never lost sight of the important things in life.
And the most important of those was "Wifey", Pamela, his spouse for nearly 15 years.
She was clearly his rock, his friend, his confidante, his ally. We could all see it, and we admired the both of them as they worked their way through problem after problem, together always.
Now, heartbreakingly, suddenly, she's gone.
In his place, I wouldn't know what to do.
Red and I recently went through a "spot of bother", as they say, over a wound on her forearm that turned septic in less than a day, sending the telltale red streaks up past her elbow toward her shoulder.
It could have -- would have -- killed her without numerous IV antibiotic treatments and many hours spent in the local emergency room.
It made me even more aware than usual about the place she has in my firmament. Quite simply, I'd be lost without the feisty comrade who always has my back.
I'll be telling her that tonight, again, because I want her to know just how much she means to me.
And, in honour of what Pamela meant to Jason, I'll be having a tree planted in her name in Point Pelee National Park not far from here.
It'll be a living memory of someone I never knew who is gone too soon.
Requiescat in pace, Pamela.