Monday, January 22, 2007

Thank you

Thanks - to all of you, to family and friends who came from all over to remember Kirk and share your stories. It was wonderful to see you, wonderful to hear what you had to say.

For those who couldn't come, we thought of you, and we know you were thinking of us.
I'm trying to get a transcript together of the talks that were given so I can share them with the people who wanted them, but it will take a little time so please be patient.

What I can do is share a few of the moments that I remember, a few more stories to tell. It's not that these are the most important, or even those that struck me most at the time. These are just the ones that I'm thinking of now.

Kirk's brother spoke. He talked about Kirk's honesty, his integrity. But the story I particularly liked was when he talked about how they would fight as kids. I had heard Kirk's version of some of this so it was fun to hear from the 'little' brother as well. They would really tear into each other, he said, but Kirk would never punch him in the face. Nope, he would just smack him. Because Kirk, said his brother, he was kind.

Now... I never had a brother, so I admit I don't own a copy of the male dictionary. and I'd have to take S's word on this definition of kind, but I noticed that while many of the women in the room were laughing, but shaking their heads, many of the men were laughing and nodding in approval.

A colleague of Kirk's spoke as well, a man I feel I know quite well although I've only met him twice now. He had worked with Kirk in Virginia, during that endless frantic year. He shared a view of Kirk that most people in the room had never seen. I know it made our son smile when he heard this man say that Kirk was the finest analyst he had ever met.

But it made the rest of us laugh out loud when he told us about a guy in their unit who had bought a suit to go for his first civilian interview. He was awfully proud of himself, and had come in to show off and get everyone's opinion. There he stood, J said, like a big... purple... dinosaur. Everyone was trying to be kind, of course, trying to be nice and give him some confidence. But a bit of a crowd was gathering, as you would expect when something very large, very purple, and sporting a cheerful tie spotted with dolphins is in the room. J couldn't remember just what Kirk sang, very quietly, but whether it was 'I Heard it Through the Grapevine,' or 'I Love You, You Love Me' the effect was the same. J responded with a dolphin squeal... I think things just got worse from there.

Kirk's best friend from California spoke. Kirk tended to form extremely close friendships, but this one was unusual. They shared, initially, a military background that gave them something in common, but then something happened to S's family. He talked about that, about the bonds that happen in struggle. Kirk was the person S called when he first heard the news that would shatter his life; S was the person Kirk called from Turkey, from Iraq. S read from Henry V, paraphrasing the words before the gates of Agincourt:

"But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive...
...This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother...
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."

My mother talked about her impressions of Kirk over our 15 year marriage. She talked about the words that came to mind when she thought of him, the picture his memory painted, from the day she first met him, long before I dated him. I saw different faces light up as her words reflected memories of their own.

And afterwards other people had a chance to say things that they needed to say, that others needed to hear. Over again I had people mention to me how good it was to hear from such diverse people, to hear diverse versions of who Kirk was.

It was a good day.

Thank you.

2 comments:

child 269 said...

I talked.

For Kirk said...

You did darling, and it was wonderful. You spoke for all the kids. I love you!