Ode to Eddie Singltary

————– Original message ————–
From: Charles Read <charlie@firewatercreative.net>
> Dear Friends.
> Today I learned that my sometimes courier, sometimes yard guy,
> sometimes employee and always great friend, Eddie Singletary passed
> away at the age of somewhere around mine. Eddie approached me in
> front of my rental house about work about three years ago, and it
> went from there to for me a great working relationships with one of
> the most reliable, honest and compassionate people I have ever known.
> I say this not in eulogy, but because Eddie had suffered probably
> most of his life. He overcame serious addiction, on to living with
> HIV and it’s debilitating symptoms, this coupled with serious diabetes.
> He’d become after recovery an unusually optimistic person, h eld his
> head high, and led the straight and narrow. He helped anyone that
> came into contact with him, had never a bad word for anyone or
> anything, and had an infectious laugh that could be seen when petting
> my dog Mille, or looking at a job well done. He could do almost
> anything, short of electrical and plumbing, which who can?, and made
> my day a little more sane by doing the things that keep me away from
> my beloved computer and livelihood. He told me stories of his
> childhood, further north in florida, or getting away from drugs and
> people who were still in turmoil and found people who believed in God
> like he did and I admired his faith, though my own is questionable.
> He told me God would be good to me because I was so good to him for
> the little money I gave him and now I wish it had been more, feel
> like I was stingy and parsimonious at times. He had a friend, Jane,
> and Mrs. Storr, who lived across from the rental house and he did
> work for her too, and we spoke tonight and cried, because we knew
> we’d never see or hear Eddie’s joy again, and knew that was the
> selfish part.
> But I have learned a lot from Eddie, who sometimes I took for
> granted, and sometimes I felt like was my brother, and sometimes like
> my child, and sometimes like a stranger. I have had a story book
> life, and Eddie has taught me the importance of simplicity, finding
> joy in minute moments of routine, feeling the sun on my face and the
> love in my heart, as I watch him do so. I had to share this with all
> the people I love, because I never took a photo of Eddie, and though
> we promised each other many times, we’d “look out” for each other, I
> kept calling him from Tuesday when he did not show up for work, but
> left for Atlanta without checking on him, and even on the plane I
> thought I should have gone by there because he ALWAYS came or called
> if he wasn’t. So for two days, his not calling meant he was probably
> already gone. My realtor on my rental house called me because his
> friend Jane knew I owned the house and told my realtor, Sunny, who
> knew Eddie too, and who called me to tell me the bad news. Otherwise
> I would not have known till I got back in town that Eddie had died.
> Eddie was black and told me I was the only white person who had ever
> really been his friend. I think he just didn’t have a chance to know
> many white people because anyone would have loved Eddie. I guess I
> don’t have a whole lot of black friends either, but I think it really
> drove home for me our sameness as people with basic needs that are so
> easy to give or take away with simple human gestures of good will. I
> guess more than anything, this is what Eddie has done for me what he
> left behind for me. And it is my mission to be that way for each of
> you, from this day forward.
> With much love, and prayers for Eddie Singletary, I sign off.c