Since our first meeting some 25 years ago, we were always humbled by Orbin's friendship. His formidable character, unwavering integrity and unsurpassable fortitude set him far apart from the rest. His moral compass always pointed true north. He recognized greatness in others and was quick to congratulate their achievements. Yet, he also took notice of the weak, the lost souls, and the walking wounded. He made it his own life's mission to give without reservation or question. He believed such efforts proved their own reward. Through it all he never became jaded or cynical and never lost faith in humanity. He truly believed all people were inherently "good" at heart, with no "bad" guys, only bad decisions and circumstances. When we reach the heart of life, we will find ourselves no higher than the felon and no lower than the prophet. For we are all children of one God and faith, all equal in his eyes. We are all worthy of love, patience and understanding. It is noted that he who can put his finger upon that which divides good from evil is he who can touch the very hem of the garment of God. Orbin held this hem in his hands on a daily basis. He continuously placed himself and his own needs last. This was clearly evident in his personal demeanor and behavior, nothing short of remarkable on any scale. He was a true "King" amongst men, standing "head and shoulders" above the masses. Big "O" always gave generously of himself, and his legacy of love, faith and philanthropy will live on forever more. Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need. I only wish you would have "taken" just a little bit more for yourself Orbin. I wish you never felt any suffering. You deserved only happiness. Sadness is but a frail wall between two magnificent gardens. Perhaps when we are sorrowful we should look again into our heart, and we shall see that in truth we are weeping for that which has actually been our delight. The reality of another person is not in what he reveals to you, but in what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says, but rather to what he does NOT say. Silence always speaks louder than words. You cannot judge any man beyond your knowledge of him, and how small is your knowledge? I will remember you, Orbin, always, as I last saw you. Dressed neatly in your suited attire, sitting across from me, happily connecting and recounting our commonalities while eating a vending snack treat, laughing, dreaming, and living. Please know your friendship and kindness never once went unnoticed. You will be treasured forever and cherished throughout eternity. May your children continue in your admirable footsteps and carry your legacy throughout the remainder of their lives. May your laughter echo across our memories, and your shadow never fade from our sunset. Be well our friend and rest in peace.
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind
and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing,
but to free the breath from its restless tides,
that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence
shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top,
then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs,
then shall you truly dance.
- Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet
Orbin understood nirvana existed in leading the young sheep in his flock safely into greener and better pastures, in tucking his children safely into bed each night and finally in writing the last line of his own story. He'll be a story in our head, but that's okay, because we're all stories in the end. Just make It a good one, eh? Because it was, you know. It was the best.