Last night I found out that my Sensei has passed on. He had just turned 70. He suffered a stroke right before I moved down here. The last time I saw him he was in the hospital and I was pretty sure it was our final visit.
He was strong and recovered well for a "regular" man, however I know it took it's toll on his art and his spirit. He was a true karate-ka; he lived for the pursuit of perfection in the martial arts, both as a teacher and as a practitioner. After the stroke he became more isolated, grumpier than ever, and stopped teaching class.
A few months ago he had triple bypass surgery. He hated hospitals. When he started having chest pains this time he refused to go to the doctor. He didn't want to be poked and prodded. He died on Monday.
He could be a stubborn and difficult man but he was also kind, gentle, graceful and a true fountain of knowledge. He shaped me.
He was the closest thing Boy has ever had to a grandfather. I know it is better that he passed than for him to live with his body failing him. I know finishing life in a hospital would have been his worst nightmare but I miss him. And it hurts.