Sorry to have been absent from the blog these last couple of weeks. Things have been nuttier than usual! I was sad to hear on March 2 that my friend Doug Haywood died during heart surgery at the age of 59. Doug is a past president of the Association I work for, and as the communications director, I work closely with the presidents. Yesterday, at Doug's memorial in Phoenix, I told his friends and family that my job is to make the presidents look good during their year in office. Some require more help than others, but Doug didn't need much help from me to look good. We hit it off right out of the gate and have been friends ever since. In 1997 we held our annual conference in Doug's home city of Phoenix. Doug and his wife Kathy held a memorable party at their home the night before the conference began. I hadn't been back there again until yesterday when we gathered at Doug's house after his memorial service.
The last time I saw Doug was this past June, at our conference in New Orleans. He "kidnapped" me from the welcome reception and invited me out to dinner with Kathy and one of the other past presidents and his wife. I said I was worried about being a "fifth wheel," but Doug told me not to be ridiculous and insisted I come with them. I'm so glad now that I did. We had such a great time with lots of laughs and old stories. Doug treated us all and was in high spirits to be spending time with old friends. That's how I'll remember him, as an old friend who was always happy to see me whenever our paths crossed, as a devoted family man who loved his wife and daughter, as a dedicated public servant who gave his entire professional career to the state of Arizona, and as someone who was taken from us far too soon.
After the memorial service, Dan and I headed over to the Arizona Grand Resort, the same place where my company held its meeting in 1997. Way back when, Dan and then two-year-old Emily joined me here and we had such a great time. We went exploring this morning and checked out the place where we held the conference, which I remembered like it was yesterday and not 13 years ago. It's nice to enjoy some kid free R&R after a crazy couple of months.
This past week, I blogged at Magical Musings about the sale of Fatal Affair. If you didn't get a chance to check it out, here is the link. There's a great story behind the story, and I hope you enjoy it. Have a great weekend!