Time for a little truth speak. I don't deal well with death. I'm weak and I run the other way. Seems the more I loved the person the farther away I want to run. I run from the reality that they are gone too soon, gone before I had a chance to let them know what they meant to me and how much they influenced my life for the better. So now I'm left to tell the world and hope he's listening, up there watching, looking down on me and forgiving me for my weakness. This world lost a good man, educator, musician, father, brother, husband and mentor. Gordon was my friend. He saw me through some of my best and worst times as a band director fresh out of college working my first job in the real world. What an experience it was and I honestly probably would've quit if it hadn't been for the support and guidance of this amazing man. It is rare in these times to find good people who use their wisdom and powers to help others. I remember coming into his classroom after particularly trying times red-eyed and weak, ready to give up. He would listen, he would comfort, and then he would share a story, or give me some advice and it always helped. He always soothed my fears and somehow helped me remember who I was. See, we shared a lot of the same beliefs. We both believed in the good of our profession, in educating our youth. And we were both willing to get in a little hot water if it was for the good of the students. He was a bit of a rebel in his own sweet, kind and caring way. I always marveled at how calm he always was with the students, never lost his cool, and always found ways to connect. That's our job, we inspire but we have to connect first. He understood and he reminded me when times were dark. “What's clouded in darkness will always come to light.” Don't give up, rest your worries, things will be ok. We will all be ok. I didn't know then where my future would take me. I still don't but I believe in the beauty of the journey and I take this man's inspirations with me where ever I may travel in life. I will take his wisdom and pass it on to others as he did to me and in this beautiful way he will always live. His spirit deep within each of the students I have taught and ever will teach. I will lead calmly with conviction and I will comfort those who struggle below me. I will lift them up as he did me and his spirit will live eternal. Thank you, Gordon, thank you forever for connecting with me. Gone but never forgotten.