His name was Jim Tarr, but most of us knew him only as RRATJ.
He and I connected on the Internet, on one of those Internet dating sites. We lived in the same town and both of us were single and looking. We met for a nice dinner date and never met again. However, he began sending me those emails that go around, you know -- jokes, stories, photos. His list began to grow, and so did mine. When I missed a day or two, people would ask me "Isn't there anything from rratj today?"
There was political stuff too. No question about where rratj stood on things. Lots of photos of car crashes and charging bulls, and hunting scenes, too. Guy stuff, I called it, and sent it happily on to the "guys" on my list, of which there are many.
I introduced him to videos and we had a lot of fun with those, too.
Every now and then I'd blog something from rratj, and so would TheIntrovertzCoach, who's on my list, on her popular blog for introverts, that gets hundreds of hits daily.
RRATJ and I went through a couple of Christmas seasons together, the hurricane, the election of the Pope, Iraq, Bush ...
Jim was retired and had a lot of time on his hands, so he was always finding interesting and entertaining things for us. I'm very busy, but every now and then I'd realize the inequity, kick myself into action, and get busy finding things to generate myself. I produce several ezines, so I always had material but my things were more serious and inspirationl. Sometimes I'd create something pretty around a piece of poetry or some quotes. It was a relaxing diversion for me.
One thing rratj especially liked was my "Wisdom of the World in Proverbs." (To order an email copy, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org/)
About 8 months ago, rratj found himself a bride. We were all happy for him. He'd been single (and lonely, I think), for many, many years. At the time I met him, he'd come back to his "roots" (Texas Hill Country)and I was glad he'd found someone special to share the rest of his life with.
The morning of March 28th, I got an email from one of the other people on rratj's list. He informed us all that Jim Tarr ("RRATJ" he said) had passed on, the night of March 27th, apparently from a heart attack.
He will be missed.
Funny how much difference the little things in life can make. Usually I stay 'caught up' on everything, with everyone, but I realize now I never thanked rratj for the daily contact. He was kinda gruff, via email, and the only notes I'd get from him, he fussed about what he perceived to be my political persuasions, or told me for the 10th time how to save pictures so he could see them. (He didn't know how to push that button at the top of the email). That was about it.
But it was enough.
RIP, Jim Tarr.
And ... pass this on to 10 friends before midnight tonight and your true love will ...