Sunday, October 04, 2009

Richard Freeman, 1935-2009

My wife's favorite uncle, Richard Freeman, died last month. I only knew him for a few years, but he was a very nice guy. His online memorial is here.

One of the great things about relatives is exposure to people and viewpoints you wouldn't normally come across in your regular social life. It's too easy for me to think that a political viewpoint, often shared with a vast majority of friends, echoes an ethical viewpoint. One thing I really appreciated about Richard was how his very conservative politics, so different from me and almost all my friends, came matched with a gentleness that I don't normally consider part of a conservative perspective.

At the memorial website, the family suggests a "random act of kindness" in lieu of flowers. I attempted my random act yesterday: my wife, her sister, and a friend are doing a 3-day breast cancer walk, and I brought a few home-made cookies for them and a bunch more to share with other walkers. The cookies seemed to be appreciated.*

*I would've brought even more but made the rookie mistake of trying to bake some on the bottom rung of the oven. Doesn't matter how closely you watch them, they still burn, and I thought it would be pretty lame for me to hand out burnt-over cookies to people who are walking 60 miles....

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