Few things

Make you feel as pitiful as hearing about the death of a good person.

I never met Cindy Munson, but her husband Danny? Yes, met him a few times.

It’s rare to find people who are the same every time you see them. Solid, friendly, upbeat, good at what they do. And Danny is one of the best photographers you’ll ever meet. He is more than a photographer. He’s a light catcher, and the beams he wrestles into his lens reflect, of all things, him and the goodness inside.

I read about his wife’s death on Facebook, and the things that he said about her explained, in a flash, so much about him. She was his partner, his soulmate. Even as she succumbed to a battering malignancy, their time together was good time, their “cancer dates” at Pollo Loco after chemotherapy, as he called them. How profound a love is that, a love that only needs the presence of the other person to bubble and cover and overwhelm all?

When Danny raced his bike, he raced it hard and well. But he never raced with anger or the intent to hurt anyone. At his toughest, he maintained a gentleness and decency rare in competitive athletics. That gentleness, I guess, comes from loving someone completely your entire life, and from being loved in the same way.

What they shared wasn’t for sale online or in an advice column, you can’t get it through therapy or a bottle or a needle or a puff of smoke, it’s the kind of thing that if you’re lucky beyond any kind of odds, you find once in your life, and it transforms you. It’s the love of novels, of movies, of kids in a movie theater shyly holding hands.

So as I said, I never actually met Cindy Munson. But through the love she rained down on Danny, well, it almost feels like I did.

END


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