John W. Hughes, born February 18th, 1950, visionary, father, grandfather, husband, storyteller, oracle, has passed away.
This man was my "other" father, and I have forgotten more kindness, generosity, and love that this man has shown me than most people receive in an entire lifetime.
A lot of folks say that the candles that burn the brightest burn the fastest. I agree. To pass on at 59 years old is far too early, far too tragic. But I think of things a bit differently, after the miserable year that I've had, in which Mr. Hughes's sons, John III and James (who are both more dear to me than our modern words can portray), have really had my back and come through for me in the most massive way that friends can. I think of someone passing too soon in terms of their life's work, their calling - these people, especially Mr. John, have made so many people's lives richer, fuller, happier, that they have completed the tasks set out for them. Whether you believe in God or an afterlife has nothing to do with it, this applies to everyone in this world.
I can only hope that you all remember with fondness all of the things that Mr. John has done for us in his life - all of those films, my goodness! I've had stomach aches from laughing at Uncle Buck and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles more times than I can count. That's just getting warm. To be part of the flock of our generation and to have such a perfect spokesman for our heartache, our angst, our unrequited love, our sense of humor - this is a blessing to all of us, and we may never, ever have another.
Keep this man and his family in your heart and grieve as though you lost a dear friend, because believe me, if anyone in this world understood you without ever meeting you, it was John W. Hughes, II.