I had a meeting with a fellow aikidoka yesterday for matters beyond our art. He is my client for some translation work needed by his company. We’ve not been training in the same dojo for almost a year since we both started training at different dojos at different timings.
So after our work meeting, we caught up and he updated me with a piece of shocking news. That one of my favourite classmates from that dojo, an elderly man of 73 had passed on late last year. Uncle Michael was my favourite sparring partner. He was patient with my lack of understanding, he was gentle with his techniques and he was always, always full of wise words, churned out in a very calming manner. He played the Spanish guitar during our gatherings and he shared with us many stories, just like many good ol grandfathers do. So needless to say, when told of his passing, I was shocked. I learnt that sometime towards the end of last year, he had complained of severe stomachache and he thought it was just food poisoning. He was taken to the hospital and warded, where doctors found out it was not food poisoning but stomach cancer instead. His 73 year old body couldn’t fight it and it spread fast, taking his life not long after.
Although the meeting went well, and the catching up session was nice and all, I went home feeling out of my element.
Rest in peace Uncle Michael. You died months after you got your shodan. Congratulations for your black belt… you’ll be missed, truly.