In loving memory of Russ Benger
My good friend Russ Benger passed away a couple of days ago, and it breaks my heart that I am so many thousand kilometres away from Vancouver to have even had the opportunity to spend any more time with him, to say goodbye, to celebrate his life and to be able to support my good friend Gus Fosarolli, Russ’ life partner. Gus and Russ have been part of my life ever since I started blogging (in 2006). They celebrated my accomplishments. They comforted me when I was down. They were always there for me. They have been, and always will be, part of my family.
I actually can’t recall a day of my life in Vancouver, from 2006 to 2012, when Russ and Guss weren’t there. They were there for my birthdays, my social events, but also my important life milestones.
To pick me up from the airport, whenever I would return to Vancouver from a trip. They took me for dinner when I completed my second Blogathon.
Russ was always fond of Mexico, and he was also very fond of my mother, and I am grateful that he got to spend some time with her and me while she visited me every summer in Vancouver.
So many memories of my life in Vancouver are marked by Russ’ friendship, laughter, cooking abilities, martini-making prowess. But more than anything, I remember Russ as one of my closest confidantes, someone who mentored me and suggested ways in which I could approach life. Whenever I would feel down, Russ and Gus would call me over and invite me for dinner. Our brunches at Crave on Main Street were a staple of my weekends.
Russ and Gus made wonderful celebrations of my family-less Christmases, in fact instituting themselves into my Vancouver family. Russ was the epitome of a loyal friend. He would take his time to get to know someone, but once you got into his inner circle, you were in there for life.
The last time I got to see Russ (luckily, this year), he came down to Aguascalientes to spend some time learning Spanish (his passion for, and abilities with languages) and also to visit me. He got to see my recent accomplishments first hand, and he celebrated my success in person.
I will miss you, my dear friend. I love you.
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- Loving profoundly, loving deeply, loving intensely
- Happy birthday Russ!