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

Azura

Newbie
Fearless Leader said:
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...

I hated seeing the thread end as well.
 

zehnyu

Squire
But here's the thing of it.

Everyone on this thread has some sort of story of John they haven't shared yet; if everyone shared something, the thread wouldn't die.

I was at the halloween party at Scott's about 2 years ago, and John showed up as V for Vendetta, and walked in with mask on and wasn't talking. I spent a good 20 minutes talking with him after having John introduced as someone's cousin (still knowing full well that it was someone I actually knew) trying to figure out who it was. When I finally figured it out, John gave me this big hug, and we went back to the normal "hey, how's life been." conversation; but the silliness of having to guess who he was, was typical John :)

-Ali
 

Von Raven

Artisan
I think of John almost every day...especially during the quiet moments, when I'm working on stuff for the new campaign. I guilt myself sometimes with thoughts of...did I spend enough time with him? Did he know how much I cared for him? How I'm sorry for the times we fought--even though it was like brothers--it was still fighting.

I work at my county's 911 center as a dispatcher for police, fire and ems and also as an emergency calltaker. I deal with folks dying or found dead all the time, and sometimes, as a firefighter out on EMS assist calls, I see dead bodies, and it doesn't bother me--you have to maintain a professional emotional distance or you'd never last in this job. But a couple of weeks ago, however I took a 911 call that shook me up.

A family had come home from dinner to find their son lying on the living room floor, unresponsive and not breathing. And as I tried to get them to follow my cpr instructions while the ambulance hurried to get there (they were too hysterical to function and the son had been dead for at least an hour), I was painfully reminded of how John died, how my poor sister Colleen and my parents went through nearly the same thing and it broke me down a little. I had to take a break.

And then Andrea and I had an emotional night, a couple of days ago and a large part of that was John's death (we are so not looking forward to the first Christmas without him, but we're looking forward to this horrible year coming to an end).

That night, I dreamnt that Andrea, Spare, Brian, Jess, Renee, Matt and I were out shopping in a city...I think it was supposed to be NYC, but it wasn't yet it was in the way such things are in dreams...I was in one particular shop, in the roleplaying games section and there was John, browsing the shelves (Sure, even while dead and visiting me in dreams to offer comfort he had to stop and look at rpg gaming stuff! LOL). In the deam, I knew he was dead and I grabbed and hugged him so tight...the desperate kind of hug that you'd give to a loved one who had passed on and you somehow miraculously had one more chance to see them. I don't remember much of the dream after that, only that we talked about gaming...but I woke up with nice feeling.

That was John's gift of comfort to me. Even in death, he never stops giving.
 
"THE BOOGEYMAN'S COMING!"

I didn't look to see who yelled it. Instead, I frantically tried to find somwhere to hide. I was in the tavern with six or seven others. We had about 5 seconds to get the hell out of there before the Boogeyman & his booglings killed us. It was my second or third event, but I knew damn well what the Boogeyman was capable of. So I did the only rational thing I could think of--hide under the big table. I sat as quiet as I could as I listened to the Boogey patrol annihilate everyone still in there.

It got quiet for a second, but I knew John and the other NPC's were still standing closeby to where I hid. It was my most terrifying moment in all my time LARPing. I had to get the hell out of there before I pissed myself. I chanced a glance under the tablecloth to see if the stairs were clear. They were. I could see some sneakers by the fireplace, as well as other shoes standing next to them, so I knew this was my opportunity.

I mustered my courage, rolled out from under the table, and dashed for the door. I remember hearing John's booming voice laughing or screaming or...ok I don't remember what I heard. All I remember is making it to the door, slamming it open, and jumping off the porch to my left, skipping all the steps. I made a dash for the woods as fast as I could. I didn't stop running even when I made it past that little house/cabin that used to have the Mage's Guild in it back in the day. I just kept running. I swear someone was chasing me, but I was too scared to look.

I finally stopped and waited behind a tree for what felt like hours. I could hear the Boogeyman & his crew terrorizing the town in the distance, but I was too scared to move. Then it hit me--this game is f**king awesome! Thank God I packed extra underwear.
 

Maryan

Newbie
I was just telling my roommate a John-and-Colleen story, and so I came here to look and see how you are all doing. There are a lot of posts since the last time I was here. I will look them over, but just want to say hello first, and I miss you.
 

Azura

Newbie
My old company offered me a part time position which I took because I need the money. I started on Monday and it's been bad ever since. It's hard to be back there. It's where I was before I came home that day. Every other name that I file is John. The other day a friend got flowers sent to her and I helped her open them. Same company that John used to use to send me flowers.

Christmas is almost here already. We didn't decorate outside but I wanted to decorate inside. I hung John's stocking but it's empty and it's killing me. I tried making us laugh a bit. My dad was putting the lights on the tree and cursing and we talked about how John always did that part in the past. We said he was probably watching us and laughing, so I put an elf hat on top of the urn as "payback". He would totally hate it but it made us laugh. Now that day is over and I'm just looking at a hat and an empty stocking.

It's so damn hard trying to act like everything is okay when it's not. It's hard to act like everything has meaning when it doesn't.
 

James Trotta

Spellsword
Diversity Committee
I'm about to fly 14 hours to spend Christmas with my family. Even though being with my parents probably makes me think of a couple of family members who died around this time more than I would if I just stayed home with my wife in Seoul, I spend lots of money to fly to New York.

When I started writing this I thought I had some sort of point - now I'm not so sure. Something about doing things that aren't really convenient to make other people happy. I think doing that does have meaning.
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
So im trying to write plot (finaly) or at least trying and all the time I am thinking, "I wonder if John would like this or that and would he be proud of me for it", probably say its about time where have I been. Well John, I am giving it my best shot, will see all sides and take what people recomend and difently try my hardest to be fair to every one. I hope I make you proud John.

Colleen, hang in there. I'm sure he had a smirk on his face with that hat, but you know he enjoyed it. Jim is right, we do thing we hate, but feel we must, kind of going through the motions for others, it all has some type of meaning. I hope you enjoy my attempts at writing for you and your brother as well as for John.
 
There's a part of me that loves the holidays. I used to look forward to them, plan parties, decorate like a crazy woman. Now, though.....
That part of me is still there, but it's been joined by a part that, well, doesn't hate them exactly, but hmm, I don't know the word, I guess.
I always cry at this time of year. It's just how I am. But this year, my tears have been joined by too many others. Far too many profoundly painful ones.
I don't know if there's a reason to go through all the usual motions of the holidays. We cut back on a lot, but kept some others. Maybe the point is to find the few happy moments, fleeting though they may be, that we all can find in these days.

I had originally come here today to post a memory that came to me the other day, and was caught up in some of the recent posts. So, anyway, back to my original purpose:

While I was driving somewhere recently, my mind wandering as it often does, I remembered talking with John about the Mage's Guild in Ashbury. He was breaking the news to me that Plot had decided that instead of my MWE taking over for Shalizar that it made sense to have Kate (Kismet? can't remember the character's name) take over. I could tell he felt bad about it, but I was perfectly fine with it, I knew that I wasn't able to make too many games, and she was a much better fit. I don't know why this particular memory popped into my head. Maybe it was to remind me that it's ok that I'm not around a lot. That as far away as I drift (connectionally, if not geographically), there are still people who thought of me and cared. I didn't even think of that reason until I started typing this. So maybe that's what it was.

I'm looking forward to the new game. Aaron and I are planning lots of ways to make the tavern an Inn in the style of all the old D&D games that I used to play. Good food, better drinks, and hopefully intrique and fun as well.
See you in the new year!
Love,
Kathy
 

Dargon

Newbie
Gee-Perwin said:
"THE BOOGEYMAN'S COMING!"
Wow I remember John's Laugh, that Boisterous laugh that night in the Tavern, LOL he had me running to get under the table in the corner of the tavern. His laugh, whether he was trying to Be Scarey, or sound insane, or just his Genuine happy laugh will something I will always remeber.

And who could ever forget the threat to the Sleeping-In NPC's that if you don't get out of bed, he was going to "Butt-Bomb" ya.

I will miss John, and I was even more sadden by the fact that I found out to late, and never did have a final good bye. I am currently working on a Novel and one of my characters makes me think of John everytime I write one of his parts
 

Hammerfist

Artisan
I happened to think about John today and wanted to put it out here. Linda and I were down in NJ in 07 for the frist time since our son passed away 3 months before and were NPC'ing. In all the crazyness of your typical Friday night at Alliance John walks over to me and pulls me aside from the crowd and said how much he enjoyed seeing the two of us laughing and smiling. He also said that he was sure we were going to be great parents when the time was right. It really had an effect on me, the man had a way about him.... I really don't know how else to put it.

-John
 

Azura

Newbie
He definitely had a way about him. He seemed to always know the right thing to say to make a person feel better or special in some way.

It helps so much to hear these things about him. People are sometimes afraid to post or say things because they are worried it will upset me. They don't understand that it really helps. A few people have come to me with dreams they have had but didn't really want to tell me. I love hearing about dreams because unfortunately I never have them anymore.

My old job hired me back part time to do filing. It's our local cable company and I file all the signature cards. Today I accidentally came across Johns from a few years ago and I just broke. I came home early because I just couldn't hold it in anymore. Then I come here and read his board and find your post and it made me happy. This is how it helps.

My friends at work were there for me and I love that they were but it helps more to read or hear about him from you guys because you knew him. I don't have to try to explain what kind of person he was.

One of my quotes on facebook is "Whenever I cried he would always make me feel like he would change the world if he could so it couldn't hurt me anymore. But now I'm crying and he's not here". I found it somewhere and it was just perfect for how I feel. And hearing about how much he cared about other people is such a great feeling.

Thank you all for posting.
 
My turn, on keeping it alive. I just went back, the first time in years, and was reading some bits of the Alliance webpage - my life has gone in a direction I never expected, and I haven't done any larping in YEARS. Saw a reference to John, whom I've thought of, off and on throughout the years.

I can still hear his voice ringing in my years, shouting, "You Bitch!" at me (lol, totally in character, as my son the Baron Bryan). So totally unlike the REAL John, who was very nice, sweet, and supportive to me, while I was at the end of a miserable marriage, and going through a divorce.

The last email correspondence I had from him, was his point of view of the events of September 11th, 2001. I still have it saved somewhere, I think (I hope), and the overall flavor of the story was compassion, sadness, and shock - pretty much summing it up for all of us.

Colleen and Patrick, I'm very, truly sorry for your loss. Words don't come close, I know. I will ALWAYS think of John as one of the GREATEST, most loving, kind people I've ever met.

Maribeth (aka Isabella, that biata bitch with a superiority complex)
 
Like Colleen, I really enjoy reading these posts about John. It reminds of my early days of LARPing and how much I anticipated the events. It reminds me how I used to seek out John at every event so that I could role-play with him. I was younger then and in a way I sought his approval of my LARPing skills. I have often said that he was my "LARPing Hero" and he really and truly was. I wanted to be more like him.

This past summer I had a great event where I experienced several important role-playing moments for my character. Near the end of the event, I had some downtime and as I reflected on the great things that had happened during the event, my thoughts drifted to John. For some weird reason, I wanted him to be proud of me. I realize it's just a silly game and we're all acting, but I guess I'm still seeking his approval.

--- Eric Stehle / Ivan Drake
 

Maryan

Newbie
Hi Colleen. I think you posting here helps us as much -- or more -- than us posting helps you. Thanks for being here and keeping in touch this way.

Today I was thinking about how a lot of people have said that losing John has made them want to be better people. Not in just the usual self-improvement way, but the looks on their faces or they way they say it seems more profound than that. It's like they got shoved off the cliff from being self-involved (the way most of us are) into a new place of selflessness that they really can't turn back from. I don't think I've ever known anyone but John who had that kind of effect on so many people. I know that the people who loved him and needed him the most, his family and closest friends, think that he was remarkable. But even those of us who hadn't seen him for a while, or maybe didn't know him as intimately, knew that he was something special. It's hard to reconcile the feeling of such a tremendous loss with such a tremendous gain in just having known him and seeing the way he helped people to be better in so many ways -- more creative, more supportive. And I don't know WHY he had that effect. He had some alchemy of the soul that just... I dunno. I wish we could bottle and sell it. We'd make a fortune and save the world.
 

Azura

Newbie
He would've been 38 today.

Last year at this time I had already had his surprise party planned. He was disappointed because we didn't do much on his actual birthday and it was very hard to keep the surprise from him. I told him that on March 1st we had to go to a family members surprise birthday party. He had to work at home that day and really didn't want to go but because of who the party was for, he wouldn't back out. The look on his face when he walked in the door and everyone yelled "surprise!" was just incredible. He was so stunned and happy. He kept saying "where's Anet? Isn't this party for her?"

At one point we played a grown up game of musical chairs (it looked like it was going to turn brutal lol) and he was so into trying to psyche people out that he wound up being the first one out. He had a great time and I'm so glad we were able to give him that.

Not a day goes by that I don't think about him. It feels like it happened yesterday. I can't believe it's coming up on a year.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
OK I don't believe in the supernatural, but I swear, whenever I look at that picture of John in the new Rule Book on my Pagemaker screen, it has a strange pinkish glow to it that none of the other black and white pictures have...
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
Azura said:
He would've been 38 today.

Last year at this time I had already had his surprise party planned. He was disappointed because we didn't do much on his actual birthday and it was very hard to keep the surprise from him. I told him that on March 1st we had to go to a family members surprise birthday party. He had to work at home that day and really didn't want to go but because of who the party was for, he wouldn't back out. The look on his face when he walked in the door and everyone yelled "surprise!" was just incredible. He was so stunned and happy. He kept saying "where's Anet? Isn't this party for her?"

At one point we played a grown up game of musical chairs (it looked like it was going to turn brutal lol) and he was so into trying to psyche people out that he wound up being the first one out. He had a great time and I'm so glad we were able to give him that.

Not a day goes by that I don't think about him. It feels like it happened yesterday. I can't believe it's coming up on a year.
Wow.....I guess I'm lucky. I now share something with the Great John T F. I got married on his birthday and I didn't even know. Well happy birthday John. I miss ya...
 
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