Budapest, Montreal, Washington, Kyoto, Boston, Dublin, Prague, and dozens of other places all over the world played host to a guy who loved to travel. I only saw him in San Francisco, his home, and the place where so many shared adventures with Wilson Fang. His love for travel was part of his zest for life and his kind heart and warm spirit. Waking up to news this morning that he had lost his battle with cancer, is devastating to say the least. Remember when Reader's Digest had a regular feature where folks wrote about the most unforgettable character in their lives? For me, that would be Wilson.
This blog, as the name says, is not about me, and by extension is also not about my family or friends, but occasionally I have broken that rule, and today there is nothing else on my mind. What I write about here is making a difference in this world, and Wilson certainly did that. That horrible thing called cancer, which has claimed so many lives, came and took away Wilson when he was only 42, but he had already touched more folks and accomplished more than many folks who live twice as long.
Folks in San Francisco will of course know him for his work in the community, on the board of the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance, and ten years ago as Mr GAPA, but his friends and family also know him as a fun loving, warm, compassionate man of great faith. One of my most treasured possessions is a book of daily devotions he gave me several years ago. He an excellent gift-giver. Presents were always items of significance to the recipient, not a gift card or random piece of junk he had hurriedly picked up. When he said he carried about you, he truly did.
His loveable sheepdog made him smile from ear to ear. So did happy moments with friends. A very happy moment for him was just a couple of years ago when he finally received the sacrament of Confirmation in his church. He was like a kid in a candy store! Perhaps the proudest moment came just a month ago when he traveled to Southern California and walked his sister down the aisle at her wedding.
Although we have close to a hundred friends in common, many of the folks in his life I have never met, and this morning I am hearing moving tales from many of them, all saying the same thing. Wilson could tell his story much better than I. He was always a much better reporter. He was larger than life. I miss him already. Wilson was an incredible human being and I am fortunate indeed that he came my way. My deepest sympathies to Zonie, his mother, and to his beloved partner, and his siblings, and all who loved him.
Where in the world is Wilson Fang? Today he is in paradise. Today he is in the tender embrace of Our Lord.