Memories of Kodiak ~ by Colleen (Collie)
Your Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend,
He referred to the dates on his tombstone
From the the end.
He noted that first came his date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
That he spent alive on earth...
And now only those who loved him
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not how much we own;
The cars...the house...the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard...
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can be still rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider whats true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.
If we treated each other with respect
And more often wear a smile...
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a while.
So when your eulogy's being read
With your life's actions to rehash...
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
August 25, 1950 - August 25, 2000
In memory of Kodiak who used his dash wisely,  gaining the love and respect 
of all who knew him. 
Kodiak ~ some personal thoughts

When I decided to add a message board at Bipolar World in response to requests by several visitors to the website I "talked" to Kodiak about it.  I had met him some time earlier and chatted with him in various Bipolar Disorder support venues and had come to value and respect his input and opinion. (little did I know it at the time that this would grow in strength as time went by).  It was my intention to put up an unmonitored message board.  I was busy with the web site and didn't always have time to be there.  Kodiak was horrified that I would even consider such a thing!!  My response was that if he wanted it monitored he would have to do it himself...and that was the beginning of his "job" as message board monitor.  I put up this picture of him which he would often send new people to see...saying "you can even see what I look like if you go here."  He had quite a sense of humor.

In the time that he monitored the board we became close friends, and talked frequently both on the net and by telephone.  I learned about his love for the environment, and the protection of it for the future.  He spoke often about the deer family who would come to the window of his home...and his love of the beauty of nature.  He talked about bicycling and how good it felt to get out on his bike...often it was his transportation to and from work.  

His love for his family was evident in both his words and in the tone of his voice.  He spoke of his trips to Maine, the boating he loved and the early morning swims before anyone else was awake.  He told me about "Ben's logs", a clear-cutting effort to preserve healthy growth in the woods.

But mostly I knew him as a person with Bipolar Disorder.  We shared and supported each other through many trials in both of our lives and because of that sharing grew closer.  He was always there for me..always dependable..and always strong in his support.

He looked after the message board with constant care and attention...sometimes loving...sometimes caring...sometimes cajoling...sometimes pushing...but always there for every person who posted.  And his involvement went way beyond what was done on the message board.  He wrote countless e-mails, did hours and hours of research, used his knowledge as a lawyer to assist with legal queries...and stayed awake at night worrying when someone was not doing well.  Such dedication and care is almost unheard of in this day and age.

I remember the phone calls we shared as we tried to locate someone who was suicidal...and the way he would take charge, phoning local authorities to ensure that help was available to that person.  I also know the hours and hours he spent on the phone (and paid for) talking to people and encouraging them to go for help.

God doesn't make many people like Kodiak...and I'm sure that is why we had him for such a short while.  God has greater plans for him.

I miss him so much...and there will always be a special part of my heart that belongs solely to him.  We will meet again I time.

A note to Kodiak~

I know that you wouldn't be too happy about all this attention and fuss being paid to you.  You always were a private person...but please allow us our grief and our opportunity to remember.

Love, Colleen



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