John Finnegan - The Best of Us All - Rest in Peace

zehnyu

Squire
I sit here, stuck at work for two more hours. I'm chomping at the bit; I want nothing more than to get in the car and drive to what I know is the last NJ game of the season. There's a part of me that wants nothing more than to play my heart out this weekend, and at the National, because to my knowledge those are some of the last things John worked on.

I've seen him at least twice since his passing; one in a dream and the other I could've sworn during the NJ opener at site, just out of the corner of my eye. So Colleen, please believe it.

I know I do.

John continues to live with us, each and every day; whether or not his spirit is here with us, I can't judge or begin to know.

I hope it is though, I really do.

-Ali
 

AllianceNJ

Spellsword
At the season closer for AllianceNJ. I said how I hoped we did John Credit. Our teacher, our mentor, our friend. This season as Renee said... sucked. it sucked because we missed John and we didnt want to do it without him.

But the events were good, and we had a great season. Because John was there. With us every step of the way.

And when I thought it would be too hard to run Jersey.. Colleen agrees to be on staff and help when Justin transistions away from being GM.

So as you give us strength Colleen, we too will give you strength. And Patrick, and everyone who loves him so dearly.

And every time we write, run and even talk about "nero", we will keep his magic alive and in keeping that magic alive, we will keep him alive. In our hearts and our minds and our spirits.

And I can still hear John telling me... Props Erica... Ill be your Head of Plot.. just make sure I have props... I can't run a barbarian weekend with just dresses....

:lol:
 

Azura

Newbie
Ragnar said:
I never know what to say for something like this, so I apologize if it doesn't make much sense.

Colleen, Thank you for coming to the Tournament. I was so glad to see you. I spent the last couple of weeks dreading doing the spirit farewell and when I heard you were going to be there I spent a lot of time thinking about how hard it would be for you. I'm glad you showed up. Seeing you there, made my entire event.

Mike Stabley
I wish I could've been there for the entire event but I'm glad I was there to say goodbye. It was really tough but something I really wanted to do. Ragnar/you was/are too important for me to miss that. It was also good getting to just sit and talk to you. I wish I could have all my friends living close by but at least there is the game and facebook. :)
 

Azura

Newbie
AllianceNJ said:
At the season closer for AllianceNJ. I said how I hoped we did John Credit. Our teacher, our mentor, our friend. This season as Renee said... sucked. it sucked because we missed John and we didnt want to do it without him.

But the events were good, and we had a great season. Because John was there. With us every step of the way.

And when I thought it would be too hard to run Jersey.. Colleen agrees to be on staff and help when Justin transistions away from being GM.

So as you give us strength Colleen, we too will give you strength. And Patrick, and everyone who loves him so dearly.

And every time we write, run and even talk about "nero", we will keep his magic alive and in keeping that magic alive, we will keep him alive. In our hearts and our minds and our spirits.

And I can still hear John telling me... Props Erica... Ill be your Head of Plot.. just make sure I have props... I can't run a barbarian weekend with just dresses....

:lol:
I think you, NJ staff, the NPCs and the PCs all had a great hand in making this a pretty fun season. I'll always want to see us succeed no matter what the future holds. I never want to see something John loved go away. John loved NJ and he loved the Alliance. I will always try to help out if I can. :) (I'm trying to picture myself as an 80 year old playing Azura LOL)

Someone recently told me that they wanted to tell me a story they had about John but didn't want to upset me. Please believe me when I say that if anyone ever wants to pull me aside or email me to say something about John, whether it be a dream or a memory, whatever, please do. It helps.
 

James Trotta

Spellsword
Diversity Committee
I hope the same is true for the poem I wrote at the HQ tourney event where I mentioned a dwarven hero named Finnegan. There was some talk about naming the field Finnegan's field but there's no compelling IG reason to do so and I was just trying to provide one. I must have taken the name out and put it back in about 50 times trying to decide if it was the right thing to do. After a good deal of thought it felt right (to me at least).
Azura said:
Someone recently told me that they wanted to tell me a story they had about John but didn't want to upset me. Please believe me when I say that if anyone ever wants to pull me aside or email me to say something about John, whether it be a dream or a memory, whatever, please do. It helps.
 

Tetsu

Scout
It sparked in my brain whilst listening to it James. I really enjoyed the poem on many levels stemming in and out of game. I think you made the right decision bro!

-Justin C.
 

paythin

Adept
I never openly had a chance to say my full peace of John's passing, it was not only one of the biggest shocks of my life but it was and still is an emotional wound that will never leave me. Only a week before his passing John was having breakfast with my wife,son and myself. We discussed our futures and how very similar our goals were as far as what we wanted to do for our families, friends and careers.

To me John was one of the few close friends that got me and my personality, but I think that was just how he worked in general, he just clicked with people. He was also among the few who got my writing and made all the more fun of it. He teased me constantly about running very few funny plotlines because I took the Alliance Larp under a more epic mindset, boy did I prove him wrong when we were rolling in the sand as the 2 rival chefs.

While I didn't know John as long as many other people I had the pleasure of being invited into his home and his circle of friends who he would call when he was bored driving home from work. I would get a ring in the evenings and the first thing I would hear from him was "How's it going buddy, now entertain me!".

While I miss John if it wasn't for his wife Colleen I don't think I would have met John. Colleen was one of the first people that I met at Nero/ now Alliance Larp and the minute she heard that my brothers and friends were from brooklyn it was an instant homecoming and she gave hugs all around. For this woman to readily accept us we knew she must have one hell of a man at her side and we couldn't have been more right in our assumptions.

~John you're one of my best friends, my colleague and fellow world builder. Some might say that true magic doesn't exsist in our world today but you proved them wrong everytime you put pen to paper or ink to printer paper.~

Justin H-
 

Azura

Newbie
James Trotta said:
I hope the same is true for the poem I wrote at the HQ tourney event where I mentioned a dwarven hero named Finnegan. There was some talk about naming the field Finnegan's field but there's no compelling IG reason to do so and I was just trying to provide one. I must have taken the name out and put it back in about 50 times trying to decide if it was the right thing to do. After a good deal of thought it felt right (to me at least).
Azura said:
Someone recently told me that they wanted to tell me a story they had about John but didn't want to upset me. Please believe me when I say that if anyone ever wants to pull me aside or email me to say something about John, whether it be a dream or a memory, whatever, please do. It helps.
Can you send me a copy? I'd love to read it!
 

Azura

Newbie
paythin said:
I never openly had a chance to say my full peace of John's passing, it was not only one of the biggest shocks of my life but it was and still is an emotional wound that will never leave me. Only a week before his passing John was having breakfast with my wife,son and myself. We discussed our futures and how very similar our goals were as far as what we wanted to do for our families, friends and careers.

To me John was one of the few close friends that got me and my personality, but I think that was just how he worked in general, he just clicked with people. He was also among the few who got my writing and made all the more fun of it. He teased me constantly about running very few funny plotlines because I took the Alliance Larp under a more epic mindset, boy did I prove him wrong when we were rolling in the sand as the 2 rival chefs.

While I didn't know John as long as many other people I had the pleasure of being invited into his home and his circle of friends who he would call when he was boraed driving home from work. I would get a ring in the evenings and the first thing I would hear from him was "How's it going buddy, now entertain me!".

While I miss John if it wasn't for his wife Colleen I don't think I would have met John. Colleen was one of the first people that I met at Nero/ now Alliance Larp and the minute she heard that my brothers and friends were from brooklyn it was an instant homecoming and she gave hugs all around. For this woman to readily accept us we knew she must have one hell of a man at her side and we couldn't have been more right in our assumptions.

~John you're one of my best friends, my colleague and fellow world builder. Some might say that true magic doesn't exsist in our world today but you proved them wrong everytime you put pen to paper or ink to printer paper.~

Justin H-
Thank you Justin. That was beautiful.
 

Maryan

Newbie
Hi everyone. I had too many physical hurdles (pain + inability to find a way to get to the site) to make it to any of the events this year. I am so sad I haven't been able to see you all. I really miss you all, esp. Patrick, Colleen, Jen, Mike, Scott, Kathy... well I certainly can't list everyone I miss. Anyway, I'm glad John is visiting some of you in your dreams, and helping with the house work. :) I have his photo in my apartment; every time I see it I think of all of you and send you my love. So I guess he must still be all around us... doing dishes and also keeping all his friends and family thinking of each other.

I'm working really hard to try to resolve my physical limitations so I can get to an event and actually do something other than sit under a tree or whatever. (P.S. As many before me have said, I really miss Azura.)
 

Aven

Artisan
You know it has been an incredibly difficult year. I have seen many of my close friends struggle to keep moving forward one step at a time despite the pain and sadness. I have seen and felt the emotion just behind the surface--lurking there, at times threatening to break out and take over.

I went to a friend's grandmother's funeral and though I never knew the grandmother and was really there to just support my friend--I was fighting my emotions the whole time. I couldn't understand why I was so raw with emotion and then I realized it was the loss that I was feeling. The loss of a friend, a mother-in-law, and the loss that my friend was now feeling with the passing of his grandmother. It hurts. And I see that same emotion in the eyes of my close friends.

But I wanted to say here, in this public forum, how absolutely proud I am of Colleen, Renee, Patrick, Andrea, Justin, Scott, Spare and Brian. They have continued on this year not clinging to grief and sadness, but making efforts to push ahead, live and find peace and happiness.

Spare is amazing--he knows exactly what to say to make you laugh and to lighten the mood and that was in desperate need this year. His presence at the NJ game helped put wind in the sales of a sorely hurting plot team.

Renee--I have never been more impressed in the efforts and accomplishments of another person. Though I have been friends with Renee for years, I don't think I truly knew her until this year--until the loss of John. There are some people that in moments of crisis rise above to be instrumental in the recovery of the situation. Renee did that for so many people--and for this Alliance. She stepped up to the plate to be the Chairman of the Alliance to make sure that what John had envisioned for this year would come to pass. She has worked tirelessly with the owners to make sure the symposium and National event happened. She has been a pillar of strength and encouragement and I don't know if she ever gets the appreciation she deserves. But I know without a doubt that John is proud of her.

I cannot image what it must be for Colleen--in all honesty I don't even try to imagine because there are some emotions I do not want to feel. But I am so incredibly proud of Colleen for living. She wakes up each morning, gets out of bed, brushes her hair, and gets on with the day. There are many people who would allow themselves to be trapped by grief and yet she is not one of them. I look back on the posts that she has written here in this forum and I see her remembering John and thanking people for sharing their memories and it makes me proud to see her focusing on that--moving forward but still holding onto the memories. She has made it to every NJ event (and even an HQ one) and is there encouraging others, smiling that amazing smile of hers, laughing, telling jokes, and being her wonderful kind caring self. Sometimes when we loose someone we love, we feel that we lost ourselves--and I am so glad that she hasn't lost herself.

I could go on and talk about everyone I listed and point out how proud I am of them. I could gush on and on... I am very emotional right now for some reason. But I just wanted to share these thoughts to everyone one who is willing to read them--so that you can see these wonderful people as I do. So you know that not only was John a fantastic person who touched many people--but that John was surrounded by equally amazing people who touched him--added to his life. These people who survive and continue to move forward despite the struggle are his circle of friends who helped add to his life and make it magical. I am so fortunate to know them and be touched by them too.

So thank you and keep up the good work. ;)
 

Michiko

Adept
I'm sitting here, with so many things I would like to say. Things I have been thinking about saying for a long time. Somehow it never felt right. I was not one of John's close friends, but it was simply impossible not to care about this man and be in awe of his genius. I distinctly remember the first time he told me I was an excellent roleplayer, and how the smile just would not come off my face. I walked around on cloud 9 that day. I remember how he would always greet me with "Hello Beautiful" even at times when I did not feel particularly beautiful. That meant so much to me, beyond what I can fully express.

I debated sharing this, but... I don't know. I can't explain it but it feels right. Today is the Feast Day of St. Augustine of Hippo and here is his prayer.

God of our life, there are days
when the burdens we carry
chafe our shoulders
and weigh us down;
when the road seems dreary
and endless, the skies gray
and threatening; when our lives
have no music in them,
and our hearts are lonely,
and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path
with light, turn our eyes
to where the skies are full of promise;
tune our hearts to brave music;
give us the sense of comradeship
with heroes and saints of every age;
and so quicken our spirits
that we may be able to encourage
the souls of all who journey with us
on the road of life,
to Your honour and glory.
 

Tetsu

Scout
So the Summer of 2008 is over.

This year has been so ridiculous. It has put us all through the ringer in some way or another. One thing has remained the same though, we are Alliance Strong.

We made this summer great. Look at the favorites lists across the boards and sites. The high graded events, and the smiling faces to back them up. We are taking a year with great loss and turning it in to a real triumph!

John definitely saw us this past weekend, he was cheering us on! At closing ceremonies of the National Event we had a moment of silence. During that moment I felt some really strong emotion take me over. I am a sappy sort to begin with but I really felt a true presence of positivity and love. It was real magic. It was John Finnegan.

Thank you everyone who made John's vision in to such an incredible reality!

Justin Coggin
 
Hi all,

I guess I have separated myself from the grapevine more then I knew. On an odd thought in my mine I surfed over to nerohq and saw that Mike had posted an update on the lawsuit, as I started reading, towards the bottom of the page, I read "the late great John Finnegan" and my world caught up with yours.

I find myself at huge loss of words. I want to curse and swear at my own stupidity for drifting away from good friends while saying "next season".

Some disjointed John stories because for the life of me I can't write.

During the first Nero Alliance chapter meeting John nominated me to be head of national plot and to be in charge of coordinating the writing of universal race packets. I told him I was honored but why would he pick me? I am not a writer (this post as evidence) and I tend to rub people the wrong way. John smiled told be I would do fine and dammit at that moment I would have jumped off a bridge if he said to.

As I was fighting with the people from all the alliance chapters to write what was assigned and attempting to write a race packet myself, John submitted his Halfling race packet. I have only once before experience two such opposite emotions at the same time in my life. Words jumped off the page as I read it, descriptions of a scene that rendered itself in my mind in such a way that it created a memory of the event as if I lived it. As I reveled in his writing the sudden and crushing realization that what I wrote wasn't and would never be as good as this overcame me. The last time I felt like this was as a senior in high school, after playing sax since 2nd grade, somebody gave me a Charlie "Bird" Parker record.

As bad as I thought wrote and as bad as that job got, John always encouraged me and never had an ill word about my efforts.

When 9/11 comes around the calendar, I vividly remember his post about getting home.

The Grail Brotherhood with a virtual John.

John role-playing so hard you couldn't see those stupid shorts and tennis shoes.

g*d dammit my world was brighter yesterday.

Karl Weaver
 
JPGTibaron said:
Hi all,

The Grail Brotherhood with a virtual John.
I had totally forgotten about that. That line made me smile quietly while I felt a tear well up. Grail Brotherhood was our EQ guild and it had quite a few Nero larpers in it. It also had a lot of people we had never met. And John's leadership and great spirit came through to everyone across the computer screen. Just like in person, he was the guy who would stop what he was doing to help anyone, whether it be showing the newbies the ropes or spending hours levelling a friend at those pyramids in the swamp. Who ever thought a halfling would watch a dark elf shadow knight kill lizards for hours on end?

Don't be a stranger Karl. The new site is probably less than two hours from your home, just across the NY/PA border south of Binghamton.

Scott
 

Von Raven

Artisan
John,

As I'm sure Colleen has already told you, we're all finally going to open the Larp chapter we always discussed, the campaign concept that you and I toyed around with 6 or 7 years ago, but never got off our butts to make it so. And now as I work on some of the ideas and feel a rush of creative excitement not felt since the early days of the Alliance when we were creating the world of Fortannis, I feel a new and deeper pang. You're not here to share this with, to work on this with. You never will be. Of course, you will be in spirit, but never in the way that we would want you to be. Our dream is now finally realized and you're not physically here. I could learn to say "that really sucks" in all the world's languages... and it still would not be enough to truly convey how much I feel that it sucks.

But I know that some part of your spirit is near, cheering us on! And happily shaking a fist that it took so long--and your death--to motivate us to chase the dream. And no matter how triumphant our endeavor will be (and it most certainly will be), it will be bittersweet for you will never be there physically to share in it and be a part of it. And I know that every event will begin and end with a tear of regret that you couldn't be there physically.

We haven't even table-topped since your passing, our gaming room and table sitting in mournful shadow, gathered with dust and memories. The pewter figures frozen in midst of an adventure and campaign that will never be completed. The dice still scattered from your last and final roll. I know through dreams of you and my heart that you are nagging me to pick up the rule books, dust off the DM screen and continue our table top tradition, but it's hard, brother. Like the first Christmas without you, that's looming nearer and nearer, that first gaming session will be a little painful, a little strange...and all too REAL.

I know, my brother, that we shall meet and game again, but it's the in between that moment and now that seems like an eternity.
 

youthculture

Fighter
I've rewritten this entry twice and deleted it as many times. I think I can only sum things up by saying this:

I never really thought it was fair of me to post anything here; I did not know John in my short time with Alliance and NERO. However, I have him to thank for a lot of the good times I had this season and this year.

Without knowing John, without really knowing many of you at the time of his death, I realized how important it was to make connections and keep them. This crazy Alliance thing we do, on some level, is more than a game -- it's a family. Yes, sometimes we get angry with each other, sometimes we fight and a lot of times it isn't worth it. But we're still all some strange little family here. Reading all these posts over the months, going through an entire season of Alliance where I could feel the weight of a loss I didn't know.. by the end of the National event, I was crying for him too and I didn't even know him. I just know what he did for everyone else and that's just as important.

So this year I made it a goal to get to know my Alliance family a little better. This weekend, I'll be going to my sixteenth event of the season. I've been from HQ, to the Deadlands, Caldaria, and New Jersey, driven hours and gotten lost; I've fought with friends, and I've cried in frustration and I've laughed like an idiot -- and I would do it all again. Not just to play the game, but to see the people, to be with my friends and laugh and live. I've gotten to know many of you better this year and I am so utterly thankful for that, and thankful for the effect that this man, who I did not know, left on me and left on this game. To everyone I had the pleasure of meeting this year, those who I got to know better -- thank you. It's been a blessing I would not give up.


- Kelsey
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
Von Raven said:
John,

As I'm sure Colleen has already told you, we're all finally going to open the Larp chapter we always discussed, the campaign concept that you and I toyed around with 6 or 7 years ago, but never got off our butts to make it so. And now as I work on some of the ideas and feel a rush of creative excitement not felt since the early days of the Alliance when we were creating the world of Fortannis, I feel a new and deeper pang. You're not here to share this with, to work on this with. You never will be. Of course, you will be in spirit, but never in the way that we would want you to be. Our dream is now finally realized and you're not physically here. I could learn to say "that really sucks" in all the world's languages... and it still would not be enough to truly convey how much I feel that it sucks.

But I know that some part of your spirit is near, cheering us on! And happily shaking a fist that it took so long--and your death--to motivate us to chase the dream. And no matter how triumphant our endeavor will be (and it most certainly will be), it will be bittersweet for you will never be there physically to share in it and be a part of it. And I know that every event will begin and end with a tear of regret that you couldn't be there physically.

We haven't even table-topped since your passing, our gaming room and table sitting in mournful shadow, gathered with dust and memories. The pewter figures frozen in midst of an adventure and campaign that will never be completed. The dice still scattered from your last and final roll. I know through dreams of you and my heart that you are nagging me to pick up the rule books, dust off the DM screen and continue our table top tradition, but it's hard, brother. Like the first Christmas without you, that's looming nearer and nearer, that first gaming session will be a little painful, a little strange...and all too REAL.

I know, my brother, that we shall meet and game again, but it's the in between that moment and now that seems like an eternity.
Patrick, while my words won't help much, I will still try.

Opening the Larp chapter will make him proud...You will make him proud...we will make him proud.
I know that if you are involved in anything, it will be great, fun and enjoyable for everyone.

Ever since that day my brother told me, I have attempted to have a "little bit of John in me". Espically at Alliance.
 

James Trotta

Spellsword
Diversity Committee
In between, you'll make your players smile. That's a great way to honor John.
Von Raven said:
And I know that every event will begin and end with a tear of regret that you couldn't be there physically.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
I just finished re-reading this thread as I am writing the dedication for the new Rule Book. Most of it is in the things I have already posted here, but I have added a few comments and edited out a few things for readability...

I guess I don't really have anything new to add or say here, except that I still think of John and didn't want the thread to end. There are still so many times when I want to call him to talk about Alliance stuff...
 
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