I’m happy to say that my friend Austin Jennings surgery went well. Actually it went better than well, as he found out that the tumor that was removed was benign! Bingo!! Yeah…sorry terrible joke. More than enough money was raised to cover his surgery and treatment. In fact, over $20,000 was raised in the span of just a few days. I think that should be testament to the kind of guy he is.

However, as one friend averts a possible curtain call, another has not been as fortunate. Early last week I learned that my good friend Patrick Bullion passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. I actually found out via facebook. This makes the third death of a friend that I have learned about in this fashion.

I was shocked when I found out. Patrick was a fit and vibrant guy. The dude ticked off 10 miles a day at times. He was a gifted runner and could quite honestly leave me in the dust. Regretfully, we never actually went on a run together. Patrick was a great friend and has passed on entirely too early. Patrick was actually one of the first friends I made when I moved to NC for film school. He was a bit older than I, being in his mid 30’s at the time, but you would have never known it. I’ve always said that age is merely a number and that was true for Patrick more than anyone. Here’s a guy that when year number 35 rolled around he decided to completely change things up and go to film school but because it was his love and his passion, and it was what we wanted to do. That takes courage and guts. Patrick was a passionate and courageous guy. I am not a high energy, positive, motivational person by nature. I’m lethargic, and often pessimistic. Anything positive that lies within me has been borrowed and outright stolen from those around me. I surround myself with people I aspire to be like in one way or another, so thank you Patrick for letting me steal a couple more things.

He was such a likable guy. I can’t remember not ever laughing whenever I was around him. He was so witty and quick on his feet. He had a punch line for everything. He had a way with words, that I will never have, if that already isn’t clear at this point in this post.

Just to further illustrate to you the type of guy I’m talking about here, back in 2008 when I was graduating and Running for Walking was falling apart Patrick was there. I was really really down because I had put so much behind this project and it was falling apart right in front of me. As I started sending out notices to all of my supporters that project was on an indefinte hiatus Patrick sent me a big chunk of change. I insisted that I couldn’t take it because at that point I wasn’t confident that it was ever going to happen and I didn’t want to take anyone’s money without knowing the future of RFW. Patrick said “Don’t worry, I know you’re good for it, don’t give up”. Thanks Patrick, now I have to run 500 miles seeing’s how I have a dead man’s money. I still have that exact same amount of money tucked away in a separate account. It’s always been a source in motivation and hope.

My foot is still giving me problems, but I guess I’m gonna have to find a way around that. I did run 10 miles out of the blue a couple nights ago. It felt alright.

Patrick is going to be missed by a lot of people. I went to his services this past weekend in Roanoke Virginia. It was mostly family members and local friends who attended and it was still a sell out crowd. Our friends are unfortunately kind of scattered throughout the country. I imagine that if everyone who wanted to attend could have, they would have needed to rent out a stadium. I think he would have hated all of this attention, but tough luck dude, I and many others are giving it to you anyhow.

He was a bit of a Sci-Fi guy like my self so I will end on this

“Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.”

Thanks Patrick for the inspiration, motivation, and friendship.

~ by glennikin on July 29, 2011.

2 Responses to “Stealing”

  1. I just found out about Patrick’s death last night. I just don’t have the words.

  2. Hi. I don’t know you, but I wanted to thank you for your kind words about Patrick.

    Patrick and I were friends many years ago. In fact, he was my dearest friend when I was in college. We wrote letters and called each other off and on after I left Virginia and I had moved back home to Atlanta. But then I moved to Colorado and, after a year or two, we fell out of touch.

    Once I felt like my life was back on track, I tried to reach him several times. I wrote a few letters, but I don’t think they ever made it. All I had was his old address in Roanoke. Every couple of months, I would search for him on the internet. I could see that he had finally followed his heart and gone to film school and I was very happy for him. But I never saw an address or a phone number. All I could see were links to “social” sites, and unlike most people I know, I have been too scared, too private, to actually sign up on one.

    Instead, I would think of Patrick every time I’d hear a great new band or see a weirdly wonderful film and I would wish that I could tell him about it. I would search for him again and I would -almost- get a Facebook account because I just wanted to talk to him again.

    A couple of weeks ago, I moved again. Still in Colorado, but a new town. I had finally just decided that I would bite the bullet and get a social account of some sort so that I could find my friend. Today, I got an alumnae letter from college, which reminded me to look on the internet again, and this time I was determined to do something about it.

    Of course, the first thing I saw was his obituary. I am completely stunned and indescribably sad. And of course, I am devastated that I am too late. Too late to talk to him again and too late to even say goodbye.

    If it hadn’t been for your words, all I would have was an obituary. But instead, I have a picture and your confirmation that Patrick was the same man that I remembered. Clearly, his soul had not changed over the years. He was the kindest and most generous person I knew. He was creative and smart and funny. I have met very few men who have measured up to Patrick. Knowing that he is no longer with us leaves this huge hole in me.

    I am so sorry that I have missed the last ten years of his life and I can’t believe that I will never see him again. We have suffered a terrible loss.

    I know we don’t know each other, but thank you for giving me the chance to say this to someone. I am very grateful for the time that I got to spend with Patrick, but I am so unbelievably sad that his time with us was so short.

    I miss him.

    Jen Abramson

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