Buddy Green 1977-2004
MY TRIBUTE Eulogy of Buddy G (12/29/77 - 08/09/04) given by Jackie G Friday, August 13, 2004 Today I can only speak to you about my personal relationship with Buddy G. His life from my perspective....and everyone here has their own recollections. These are mine. About five years ago, I walked into Patti's drapery workroom which I use in my business to turn in some drapery orders. That day Patti's son, Buddy was there and he walked up to me and introduced himself. He said "I know you don't know who I am, but I have heard mom talk about you for awhile. My name is Buddy." We chatted for a few minutes and I left to go about my day's work. A few days later, I was back in the shop and again, Buddy and Patti dropped in. Buddy and I struck up another conversation.....he said, "what are you doing after you leave here?" and he asked if I would like to go to lunch. We went to eat and talked for about three hours....those three hours were the first of thousands to come...he told me story after story about himself his childhood, his adolescence and his family. He was an enchanting story-teller and I found his young life fascinating and at times heart-wrenching. I think that over these past five years he has recounted almost every single experience of his life. From that day forward we had a bond...over these past five years, he spent countless days and hours with me, riding with me from job site to job site...watching me, observing me, and he thought I was the best interior decorator he'd ever seen....my dry wit, candor with my clients and my casual style mesmerized him. A few weeks after Buddy and I first met, my partner, Jay and I had a client who was moving to Las Vegas and their home needed a lot of faux finishes and decorative painting. Jay needed help. We talked and decided to ask Buddy to make the trip with us to help Jay with this enormous project. To be honest with you, several folks warned us that we were making a mistake...Buddy, they said, has some problems that I don't think you are going to want to deal with....but I am a bullheaded taurus...and we went to Vegas, spending weeks together. Buddy took enormous pride in that job and in the unbridled trust we gave him to help us get it finished. That Las Vegas family sent me an email upon learning of his death. They spoke of Buddy's amazing personality and his wonderful gift of artistry. Their 3 year old son Joshua was enchanted by Buddy's charm....my own niece, Savannah, only five when she met Buddy, was totally infatuated....a little girl's crush on a very handsome and striking young man...and she is hurt and confused by his passing. We took Buddy to work with us in New York and Arizona and Missouri. And each of those families expressed the pride they held in having a little part of Buddy's gift in their homes. Another family wrote: "Buddy's soul has now found the peace he struggled to find here on earth." They were glad to have shared their home with him. I was his best friend, his counselor, his mentor, his employer and an anchor for his often-troubled life. He was like a son to me....in his own words, our home was a safe haven for him. At times he lived with Jay and me for weeks or months...he was perfectly content to share our boring, ordinary, day-to-day lives...watching tv, renting movies, sharing stories and cooking. there were many times when he and Jay clashed (Jay was much better at tough love than I)...but today, Jay's heart is bruised as well. Buddy had impeccable taste for the finer things in life....I remember one day after 9/11....when we were virtually broke (I think we had about $100 in our checking account), Buddy decided he wanted to cook dinner for us all....so he and I went went to the grocery where he filled the basket with every marinade and condiment known to man....then he proceeded to select a pork tenderloin, fresh shrimp and scallops (a menu he cooked for us a dozen times). The grocery bill was over $80. But he encouraged us to live for the moment.....he was good at that. The meal was fantastic and the kitchen looked like a war zone.....he was good at that too. If you took him out to dinner, Buddy invariably chose the most expensive items on the menu....soup, salad, entree, wine and coffee.....if you took him shopping, it had to be Polo, Armani, Kenneth Cole or Movado...a while back he decided he wanted a diamond ring. He and I went to the jeweler and I was encouraging him at the $1000 end of the counter...but no...it had to be platinum and diamonds...he made his choice, surprisingly agreed to put it in the layaway, and paid it out over time.....a birthday gift of cash from his grandparents finally made it his...and you never saw him without that ring from that day forward. I smile when I recall the hundreds of times I caught Buddy looking into whatever mirror he passed; fixing his hair, adjusting his cuffs, checking his jewelry, and making sure he had just the right amount of "hair product". I have so many memories of the hours and days spent with Buddy...and as I reflect back on our relationship, it had to be fate that drew us together. Our lifestyles were polar opposites...and made sense to almost no one but us. It's as if we had known each other forever. It wasn't always easy being his friend, and it wasn't always easy for him to have me as a friend...we discussed it often, but agreed to let the world say or think what they might. We were extremely loyal to each other. Sometimes to our own detriment. And like his mother, my love for Buddy was and remains unconditional. Buddy was a risk-taker, a thrill-seeker and had no fear except of two things: he had a fear of being alone and a fear of abandonment. On several occasions he asked me if I thought we would be friends in 10 years, or would I grow tired of him? Would we be a part of each others lives forever? And over and over I had to assure him that one of my undying qualities was loyalty and that I had signed on for the full ride. I would be there forever. And trust me when I say that ride was a rollercoaster. Many of the best days of my life have been spent with Buddy and many of my worst nightmares have been realized as well. Two years in a row, Buddy surprised me by taking me to lunch for Father's Day...I guess that's the only two meals we ever shared that I didn't pay for. I have a zippo lighter he gave me for my birthday a couple of years ago. And I now wear that diamond ring that he and I bought together...his mom felt I should have it. Most importantly, I have his love and our memories to carry with me for the rest of my days. But I would be dishonest if I didn't share my ANGER about our being here today. As his mother reminded me, something like a horrible car accident didn't bring us to this place in time...this was, to put it simply, a drug overdose. This beautiful wooden casket holds the shell of my 26-year-old friend who shouldn't have been here for another 50 or 60 years. The ravenous, insatiable demons of drugs brought us here today...what began as a despicable and horrible lifestyle choice ends here; and was, in the end, no longer a choice. This is what drugs bought him.....he spun the wheel and lost....and if any of you today continue to share his choices, there are rooms and boxes in this building waiting to welcome you also. And you too can break your friends and families hearts....it is a selfish choice, but yours to make. Buddy thought he could use drugs recreationally; that he "knew his limits". Turns out, he was wrong. And now his family and friends are left to figure out the "why's" and the "what if's". But at this hour and for all eternity Buddy's soul is at peace and he is tortured no more. For that I am grateful. The last time I saw Buddy was in my kitchen only three days before his mother and I found his lifeless body. Before he walked out the door that day, he hugged me tightly, kissed me and said, "Jackie, you do know I love you...you are my best friend." And then he said, "Sometimes I don't think we tell each other that enough". And that's his legacy to us all....make sure you tell the ones you love how much you care as often as possible. None of us is promised tomorrow. Now there is a hole in my heart and in my life. Buddy, I hope you can forgive my selfishness in wishing you were still here...I wasn't through being your friend... These words were the last gift I could give you. They were from my heart. I kept my promise and I was with you until the end. My life is better for having known you. My friend, may the arms of God hold you tightly, forever above the sun. With all my love, Jackie
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