My last communication with Clay was the following back and forth (Clay had been looking at my Facebook profile which is a picture of my son):
Clay: Your kid is way better looking than you are.
Me: Ha ha – very true. How have you been?
Clay: Still short and sexy.
It was classic Clayton Jackson. The guy I met in grade 4 who became one of my closest friends. I realize you shouldn’t live with regrets, but had I known this was the last time we’d be communicating I would have told him:
• How much I appreciated his wicked humour
• I am sorry that I hadn’t been a better friend over the last decade. I’m sorry he missed my wedding…and I missed his.
• That he was one of kind. There will never, ever be someone like you, Clayton Arthur Jackson
• How much I loved how he could cut people down to size. That he didn’t suffer fools lightly
• That in my bid to become school president in Grade 6, as my campaign manager, his ‘Don’t be stale, vote for Veale’ mantra has become legendary with my kids!
• That I always knew he had my back (literally and figuratively). He proved this many, many times when things got a bit rough, as they could, when we were finding our way through life in our late teens and early twenties, finding our way…
• That when he died…I honestly felt a part of me dying as well…
Clay, we had a quite a party up in Whitehorse celebrating your life. Thanks for bringing us all together. True to form you didn’t fade away ‘little Dudeski’. Miss you.