I am so saddened to tell you all of a death in our family, in the A2K family, the Moderator family.
timberlandko, his real name was Kevin, passed away on March third. I just got off the phone with his lady love, J., she told me that he was, ha, it's so like him when you think about it, he was sitting at the computer. He was on another floor and he called to her, but not in alarm. She came downstairs so she could hear him and she said, he made a little tiny sound, "like a dove" and then she saw he was unresponsive. She called to him, she's an RN, she did everything, we all know what 'everything' means under such circumstances. But he was gone, and the doctor who pronounced him dead said he died almost instantly from a heart attack and there was no pain. Thank God or Providence or karma or the great vibration in the sky, whatever you feel or believe or even if you don't believe, I think a little gratitude is in order that there was no pain.
We had a feeling, in Moderator Land, a kind of sinking feeling, you know how it is, it's just something you think and then you dismiss it really fast because you don't want it to be true. Kevin last posted on the very day he died and he told us he'd be offline for a few days as they were having DSL problems. But a few days later, well, we all knew what a computer wizard he was, he'd've put together a chicken coop and baling wire and an old radio antenna to get back online. So our hearts began to sink as we all started to fear the worst. One Mod voiced it a few days ago, we started to see some folks asking on the Lost and Misplaced A2K Members thread, and then a few days ago I screwed up my courage and I called.
J. had to compose herself to call me back, it took her a few days, I know it must have been very hard. She is a great woman, in Moderator Land we would call her "the lovely Mrs. timber" even though they were not married. That made her laugh a little and she remembers him with good humor. She told me her favorite story about him. A few years ago, it must have been several years ago, they went out to the movies and saw Beauty and the Beast, it was her choice, you know, it's not much of a 'guy' picture. And when the film was over she said to him, "Kevin, I think that movie was a little like us." And he looked at her, and took her face in his hands and said very gently, "Don't be so hard on yourself, J.." She and I laughed over that.
Let me tell you one of mine. I, too, have had spyware, and Kevin had been gracious enough to walk me through getting everything fixed. To thank him, I decided to surprise him and send him some books. I casually had asked what he likes and got the usual, "A great barbecue and a can of something fizzy." So I sent him a couple of books, one of which was a bunch of recipes for all sorts of stuff that guys like, you know, meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, steak. He was surprised that I had done that, I think he just thought it was all in a day's work. He told me the recipe book was almost like food porn, it was just the kinda thing you drool over.
Kevin was 60 years old. He was active on a lot of forums, not just A2K, and he was all about helping people. Go google his userid, and he's on this forum and that, helping people with spyware or just chatting like he did with us. He was a guy's guy, he liked to hunt, he had been active in the local fire department and would drive a snowplow when the weather was bad and there wasn't anything to do with his computer business (he put together and serviced computers as a freelancer). He was a veteran. He was a father. And he also had a whole passel of dogs, J. says there are five, they're all strays or were abused, good dogs, I heard some barking while we were talking.
I don't know if you all recall Big Sam, the dog he talked about, who had cancer and had had an operation and seemed to be doing better. Three days after Kevin died, J. could see that Sam was suffering, so she gave Sam the greatest gift of all and let him be with his master. A man's gotta have his dog, and a dog's gotta have his man.
We really cared for Kevin, what we felt was love, it's a crazy thing, I guess, to love someone who's a lot of pixels and an occasional picture. He made us laugh. He helped us out. He pulled more spam than you'll ever know. He helped us with decisions. He kept an eye on so many things. There's an empty chair in Moderator Land.
I told J. that I'd like to keep in touch with her, and she'd like to do the same. It was with her kind permission that I'm telling you all this. She truly is the lovely Mrs. timber, and she's always welcome here.
Godspeed, Kevin, timberlandko, the King of Spyware Zapping, the Duke of the One-Liner and the Friend of so many.
Good night, sweet Prince. We'll miss you.