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

It's been a frustrating year for me as writer and as a player of Alliance. I've sort of lost my way. I have all these ideas in my head I want to get on paper and I want my players to enjoy and I've been completely incapable of articulating my ideas. On top of that, six months ago I got a job that restricted my weekends and I was no longer able to play. To go from someone who played Alliance 23 times a year to nothing, it was more that frustrating. I couldn't see the people who I considered my family, my closest friends. I moved back to Rhode Island, away from those who supported me emotionally for the past four years. I hit a horrible depression streak that almost broke me.

Things have been better lately. I'm happier and healthier, but I still can't write.

I frequently come back to this thread. Today, I did it again. I read through everyone's stories about JTF, some of which I recall, most I don't. What stuck out to me today was how prominently he effected the lives of people who are now plot writers that I admire and emulate, or memories of things John wrote or played. I read them and I think about what I recall of him and I go: Yeah, I want to be that guy.

I want to write and play things that people love, I want to put passion into everything I do, and I want to give back to the community. I don't know anyone who can measure up to John's shoes, but I do think I can be a better person in this community by trying to remember the way he affected it. I want to emulate the things in John that helped move our game and make it better; I want things like that to be around forever, and to touch our new players who never got to meet John.

My first event of the season (and in six months) is coming up in a few weeks. I am going to try writing again. Reading this thread and remembering what's important about the game and the people who effect it was the thing I needed to remember, I think.

Thank you, John.
John I can't use words to sum up how I feel. I miss you everyday. I still jump when the phone rings in the afternoon thinking its you calling me on your way home from work so we can chat. All of your words of wisdom and advice that you gave to me about life I will cherish forever. You were my mentor, and like a big brother to me. I lost my best friend and I don't think I will ever get over it.The anniversary of your death is coming up and its too hard to think about. I miss you so much. I love you John.
Hey Bud.

I was flipping through old emails looking for something on Zehn today when I came upon the old ones you and I had while you were HOP at NJ. And when I invited you up when my sister was coming down for Christmas..and unfortunately work was just too hectic.

..I wish you were around to share in all the crazy shenanigans I've been up to for the last year. You'd probably clap me on the shoulder and ask me if its been good, and I'd tell you yes.

Its weird to think its been this long already, and how much things have changed.

Every so often I go to write an email out of that account, and it still remembers your name to pop up as an autofill.

I miss you. Much love, and hope the game's good where you are. Whichever one you're playing.

It's been so long, but you're still my inspiration to write John.
This is taken from an e-mail from John...thought I could share..

From John Finnegan

"Some of my favorites:

What Shall We Do Now?

What shall we do to fill the empty spaces
Where waves of hunger roar?
Shall we set out across the sea of faces
In search of more and more applause?
Shall we buy a new guitar?
Shall we drive a more powerful car?
Shall we work straight through the night?
Shall we get into fights?
Leave the lights on?
Drop bombs?
Do tours of the east?
contract diseases?
Bury bones?
Break up homes? Send flowers by phone?
Take to drink?
Go to shrinks?
Give up meat?
Rarely sleep? Keep people as pets?
Train dogs?
Race rats?
Fill the attic with cash?
Bury treasure?
Store up leisure?
But never relax at all
With our backs to the wall

When The Tigers Broke Free

It was just before dawn
One miserable morning in black 'forty four.
When the forward commander
Was told to sit tight
When he asked that his men be withdrawn.
And the Generals gave thanks
As the other ranks held back
The enemy tanks for a while.
And the Anzio bridgehead
Was held for the price
Of a few hundred ordinary lives.

And old King George
Sent Mother a note
When he heard that father was gone.
It was, I recall,
In the form of a scroll,
With gold leaf and all.
And I found it one day
In a drawer of old photographs, hidden away.
And my eyes still grow damp to remember
His Majesty signed
With his own rubber stamp.

It was dark all around.
There was frost in the ground
When the tigers broke free.
And no one survived
>From the Royal Fusiliers Company C.
They were all left behind,
Most of them dead,
The rest of them dying.
And that's how the High Command
Took my daddy from me.
"Miss you, pal." Last thing John ever said to me. I return the sentiment ten fold.

It's been 3 years, John, so you had better have one heck of a LARP event waiting for us on the other side.
*raises a glass*

Wish you were here John. In so many ways.

Happy Birth Day John. Still thinking of you.
*Raises a glass* Your spirit lives on in those you inspired.
I will drink to that. Slainte.

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be ever at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And the rain fall softly on your fields
And until we meet again, May God hold
you in the hollow of his hand
It's weird. I was thinking about John today and I wanted to see his face, so I Googled his name. There are many John Finnegans, but his picture came up as like the 3rd one on my i-Pad.

Then I switched Google from the "images view" to the "web view" and added "LARP" after his name and this thread, which I thought was long buried, came up. I re-read all the posts and cried a little.

I miss you, John.

--- Eric Stehle
Coming up on 6 years of JTF's passing. I'm blown away that this thread is still going...the last post being just over 5 years after his death.

Speaks volumes of the man and the people who loved him. It reminds me, again, of one of the last things he had ever said to me, right after his surprise birthday party, two weeks before his death, so happy to see everyone, "If a man is measured by the quality of his friends, then I am a man of quality indeed."
I can't believe it's going to be six years. I'm so glad I got to see him that last time at his surprise party. I learned so much about kindness and forgiveness from that man.
Happy birthday John. Another year with out you buddy. I still miss you the same.
Thinking about you a lot tonight John. I miss you. I think about you all the time. I remember so much joy and lightness and laughter with you. Thank you for everything you've given me.
I remember when I first had met John. This story goes back to 2002, my first year in Alliance, so bear with me here. Mike V, if my memory is off feel free to correct it.
My friends and I were attending a HQ event where all of our characters were mistakenly sent to the Graveyard.
I remember we got there early and I helped Mike V set up a mod and he was talking about how he was looking forward to seeing his friend John, and explained what had happened and how they were patching things up. John was coming down for a few hours, and he was hoping to surprise some people.
Listening to mikes stories about him I could tell how much it meant to him.
So the registrar brought to my friends and I a lost Biata, one who seemed a bit disoriented, hoping we could help him. Johns first response to us as we asked who he was, "I like apricots."
Cut to Mike cracking up as he was trying so hard to stay in character. So we brought him over to the nobles who all instantly recognized him. Their reaction was priceless! :)
I never really got to know the man, but I could tell from that one event how much everyone loved him. It made me realize how alliance is really one big family, and how important he was to that family.
Cheers to you John, know that your family is alive and well. And yes, I like apricot as well ;)
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