For those of you who know me, I’m not a sentimental one, but today I’m pretty sad. The world lost a friend today.
Sometimes, in the course of day to day life, we have the opportunity to cross paths with someone that will help us to see things differently, or consider life in a different way — and sometimes when you least expect it, folks like this change you in some little but very profound way.
John Mohawk was one of those people, he was a profoundly good person, and one who made an impact on me.
Some of you know the story — about a year ago, I was walking into the courthouse in downtown Buffalo, which is in a pretty desolate location. It was an rainy, cold, autumn day, and my umbrella had blown inside out because the wind was blowing so hard. I muttered a bunch of curse words under my breath as the rain literally pelted and ran down my face. I glanced up long enough to see the general direction in which I was moving, and I saw, at the street corner, a figure.
Standing in the rain, on the street corner, in this desolate area of downtown, was John Mohawk — no umbrella — looking up at the sky and smiling. I was shocked to see him there, and immediately asked if he wanted a ride back to the parking deck, which was about a half mile away. He looked at me, asked how I was doing, and said “no, I’ll walk, it’s a beautiful day.”
It was one of the many lessons John taught me over the short time I knew him. Though we’ll all miss him dearly, I’m looking forward to enjoying the next rainy day and remembering a truly great teacher and friend.