It is somewhat apt that I am crafting this in a Halifax hotel room as it was in this glorious city that I (alongside Charlie Coleman) took my first step into the world of conference presentations and working with colleagues around twenty years ago. I only took that first step because Wayne believed in me and believed I had a message to share. My hesitation was evident as I chatted with him about what to expect and about what a ridiculous notion I had about thinking my words would be interesting to anyone. He reminded me to be myself, to share only what I truly believed and lived, to build relationships, and to have fun. With Wayne it was always important to have fun.
The tears I am shedding are caused in equal measure by the loss I am feeling and the laughter that emanates when I think of the stories he shared. I think I know every Wayne story by heart and yet he always produced the gales of laughter in his telling (and retelling) of each detail. He was one of this nation's most gifted storytellers. I will truly miss that aspect.
We last talked in person a little more than a year ago and we both knew that his time was much more measured that either of us hoped for or wanted to believe. As he headed for the door he asked me to walk with him. When we got to a less public space we spoke openly and he shared some words that will remain private but will be forever treasured. We embraced for just a little longer than was our custom and wished each other the best.
I am relieved that his struggles are over and his body is no longer wracked with the pain that the scourge known as cancer, brought. I am saddened for his family knowing how important they were to him. I am blessed to have known him and have him enter my life when I needed him the most. His faith was important to him and I know the denizens of Heaven will be regaled with the finest stories and the finest storyteller I had the privilege to know. Rest well my friend.