Monday, January 28, 2008

Farewell, to my good friend, Mark!



All photos are Mark Gurkin's...







Farewell to a Good Online Friend

Mark Gurkin aka “ggraph”




Elder's Mill Bridge




It’s always difficult to say “Farewell” to anyone when that friend reaches the end of life’s journey but when it’s a good friend, this is so much more difficult.

Mark Gurkin aka ggraph was a good online friend who I have never met but have spoken to on the telephone and have communicated with for almost a year. Mark was unwell. He was patiently waiting for a kidney-pancreas transplant which never came in time for our Mark. He had problems with his eyesight due to difficulty while on the dialysis machine. What a time he had! But he always sounded upbeat and happy in his situation—even though he was going through such difficulties.

Our last telephone conversation was on January 9, 2008 when I shared some good news of mine and he was elated to hear that news. He was looking forward to the time when I’d be able to go to Georgia and meet both Sue, his wonderful wife and caregiver, and himself.

My last email to him was on January 13 and I was telling him of a wonderful online church service I had watched on TV that morning and here’s a bit of what I said to Mark:

“This morning, Mark, as I was getting ready for church, Paul phoned me from Virginia. He had just finished listening to Charles Stanley's son speak on TV (from 7 am to 8 am). Usually, it's Charles Stanley from Atlanta but today his son, Andy, was there from a church called "North Point". Paul was so excited as he knows the area down there and he said, "Pat, Andy is so close to your friend, Mark! If Mark is at exit “xx”, Andy is just down at exit 10 off 400! Can you phone him and tell him that this was a wonderful program today?" I told him I would write to you, Mark. I'm listening to Andy Stanley as I type this Mark and he's just so wonderful today.



Here's the URL:
http://www.intouch.org/site/c.dhKHIXPKIuE/b.2287421/k.944D/This_Week_on_TV.htm



When you get to this URL,
you can click on a wee icon on the screen to see it full screen, Mark. It's really good. Please let me know what you think. I wish I were closer to you and if I were, I'd drive you to his church. Apparently, it's massive and it's right off the highway near you.


I will call you later. I must go to my church service tonight as I'm playing the organ. I had an email from Natalya and she sends you her best wishes, Mark.”

And I added as well, Hi Sue! I look forward to meeting you one day. Maybe Paul will drive me to Georgia someday. God bless you both and remember that my thoughts and prayers (and Paul's in Virginia) are being offered for you both every day. Sue, it's such a wonderful job you're doing caring for Mark. I loved every minute of my time caring for Jack and I realize now how important a job it was and only a spouse of a dialysis patient can even begin to realize what you are going through. No one else can. And only Mark can begin to know what you're going through as you care for him as Jack used to remind me all the time.



We'll chat soon. I just wanted you to know about Andy Stanley quickly as the video doesn't stay on the web site all that long. I hope you listen and watch.”


Old Homestead



So, folks, this is where I was with my friend Mark Gurkin. We shared much about my Heavenly Father and I told him how much Jack, my late husband, loved the Saviour. How I wish I had been able to make the trip down to Georgia to see both him and Sue. Mark so often said that Sue was his life and his wonderful soulmate. He lived for Sue. Jack was also on dialysis for 3 ½ years before he was promoted to glory and so I realize just how difficult it is to be the caregiver like Sue was to dear Mark.

Even though Mark could hardly see, he was still out there taking photographs as often as he possibly could. He loved covered bridges, birds and all kinds of wildlife. He displayed many of these lovely photographs in his blog entitled, Photo Life and on his website entitled, North Georgia Images

If you would like to post a comment also on the Photography Café where he loved to spend time during the past year, please do. His family will appreciate it. Here’s a link to a topic where the members of the Café are posting and you can simply register on the site to post your message of condolence as well. Farewell Mark aka ggraph and you might like to see the photos that he uploaded in the site. Here’s his Gallery on the Café.


I think it’s fitting to end this little memorial to our dear blogging friend and fellow photographer by using one of his own photos from his website.

From Mark:

“I often pass by this huge American flag. It's so large it takes a very windy day to get a full flag shot. While out one evening I decided to go by and see how it looked. When I got there the sun was beginning to set and the clouds were really great. Hence this image. A great image for the end of the day on the 4th of July”


SUNSET SALUTE





A great image, Mark for the end of the day on January 27th, 2008

Our deepest sympathy to you, dear Sue, and the whole family circle of our dear friend Mark Gurkin.









65 comments:

Rambling Round said...

A beautiful tribute to your online friend. Thanks for sharing. North Georgia is a wonderful section of the U.S., and I have visited there several times. Maybe you can make it down eventually.

Natalya said...

What a wonderful tribute, Pat. You have summed up xactly how I saw Mark too, always upbeat no matter what life was throwing at him! Thank you for all you did to keep Mark's spirits up too, I am sure he enjoyed your conversations as much as you did! :o) {{{HUGS}}} xx

marley said...

Pat, you have written a lovely tribute to your friend. I am sure that just knowing that your thoughts and prayers were with Mark will be of great comfort to Sue, his family and friends.
I too hope that you make it to Georgia someday.

The D in D & T said...

Pat, A lovely tribute to an obviously much loved friend and his family. Our thoughts are with you and Mark's family at this time. Best wishes

drpack said...

A lovely tribute to what must have been a lovely person.
Our thoughts are with his family and all that knew him.
He and his photos will be missed.

b.c. said...

thanks for sharing this tribute for your friend with us--am sure he will be forever missed

Thiên said...

Pat, my heart goes out to Sue and you and all the family and friends of Mark. I am deeply touched by your tribute here and will visit the other sites you mentioned.

Corey Templeton said...

A very nice tribute, I send my condolences.

SeanclaesDOTcom said...

I am so sorry for your loss. This online community is an odd one.. I know I feel very attached to several people whom I've never met.

May Mark rest in peace and be in a better place.
God Bless!

Carraol said...

Pat, our thoughts are with his family and friends. A wonderful tribute to Mark.

Karoliina Urso said...

My condolences - A good friend now is in final rest. May our eternal father bless the family with his grace and comfort.

Rajesh Dangi said...

Pat, it was great knowing Mark and Sue via your tribute. My thoughts are with his family and friends..

Annie said...

Thank you, Pat, for letting all of us know. I did leave a comment for Sue on Mark's blog.

My very best to you, too.

Celine said...

A touching tribute. My condolences to Sue and to you. He was obviously well loved.

edwin s said...

Godbless you Mark. I will miss your pictures. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

My deepest condolences to Sue and her family.

A beautiful tribute Pat.

simon kutcher said...

A very humble tribute Pat. Best wishes to all

Susan said...

Pat,
I am so sorry for the loss of your friend Mark. His and your late husbands situations being so similar certainly helped you understand what he was dealing with. And a shared love of photography brought you together to allow you to lend him that extra support and friendship. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but I feel sure that He brought you into Marks life for a reason. I hope you and Sue remain in touch.
Marks photos are exquisite, with that special touch that shows a true love of nature and the world around him. The fact that he was able to take such beautiful shots even with his failing sight, proves to me what I have always thought. And that is that wonderful images are not only seen through a photographers eyes but also through his heart. Apparently, Marks heart must have been very full!

The Letter A said...

A lovely tribute to a dear friend. The pictures of his that you have displayed are beautiful and vibrant. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and Mark's family during this difficult time. God bless.

Lachezar said...

Thanks for sharing and the tribute.
Best wishes to all

Lachezar
http://www.aucklanddailyphoto.com/

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

beautiful tribute!

Lynette said...

Pat, you've done a good thing for some time now, for Mark and for Sue. I know you didn't do it for any acclaim, but I wanted you to know that I'm glad you were able to be their friend and to tell us about that friendship.

Irina said...

I'm bitterly sorry about your loss. No words can ever bring back a loved person but I hope they can lessen the pain. Mark will live in our hearts.

Hyde DP said...

Thanks for the tribute - what a small world this is and how inter-connected we all are. I remember "ggraph" as the original Atlanta DP and was aware of his problems. I knew this day would come some time and I am glad he has so many good friends to remember him.

pusa said...

heartwarming tribute to a friend... our consolation is that he's already at peace at world's end.

Jazzy said...

Our sincere condolences to Mark.
That is a very nice tribute Pat.

Elise said...

Our thoughts are with Sue and Mark's family and friends. Thanks for showing us these beautiful pictures.

Jackie said...

What a beautiful tribute to your friend, and how lovely to use his photos. I have a number of online friends that I would be just as heartbroken to lose.

I pray that you get the chance to meet up with Sue one day and share your good memories in person.

Jackie (Glasgow DP)

DS2944 said...

I didn't knows your friend Mark Gurkin but my sincery condolences to Sue and to you from a french blogger.

Keropok Man said...

Condolences to Mark's family.

Pat, cheer up, for we might all meet in heaven!

Jilly said...

What a beautiful tribute, Pat. Our online friends can become as important as our real life friends. I know. My best friend, who now I see, I met online via the dog world.

Plese send my deepest condolences to Mark's wife - and to you. he was a wonderful photographer and I've so enjoyed his photos today, tinged with such sadness too.

monoblog said...

Thanks for sharing this moving tribute to your friend with all...

Sailor Girl said...

You are a wonderful person, Pat. You move everybody around the world and it is so good to know there are people like you and that so many people care!! Please be strong in this difficult situation!
Thanks for sharing and thanks for this lesson on Friendship! Please giove my condolences to Mark's Family.

alice said...

Even if you never met in "real" life, you were real friends, your words resound with this friendship. Thoughts from France for all his family and friends.

isabella said...

"Every man's death lessens me"
My deepest condolences on the loss of your friend. He left a wonderful legacy, including those magnificent photos.
Best to you, Pat.

Chris said...

What a wonderful tribute, Pat. Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts and his wonderful photos.

Condolences to all who knew and loved Mark.

J.C. said...

It was very compassionate of you to have this special tribute for a dear friend. I wish Mark will have a wonderful onward journey. And Sue, my condolence to her. May the beautiful memories of Mark give her strength in this grieving moment.

Chuckeroon said...

Your kindness and thoughtfulness in making us aware of Sue's need for support and comfort are very important. Pse pass on my condolences.

Marie said...

This is a great homage paid to your friend. Our blogger friends are as dear to us as the friends we meet in "real life." One of my blogger friends died last yeat quite unexpectedly. It was big shock. Today I have attended the funeral of our friend, the painter René Ferris.

It's a bad period of the year for our friends. I'll pray for Mark tonight.

Barbara said...

Hi Pat,
I'm sorry to hear about Mark and sorry that you've lost a good friend. Thanks for sharing your experience with the blogger community--isn't it wonderful how you can connect and make new friends through this network.
Take care from Barbara
West Sacramento Photo of the Day

Mo said...

Very Sorry to hear about your loss. I offer my condolences to his family.

Jean said...

Mark will obviously be missed but never forgotten.

Jen, aka ChinaMom2005 said...

A wonderful tribute. Online friends become to mean so much. My prayers are with you in this time.

Z said...

My condolences to Sue and all of Mark's friends and family. He seemed to have been a lovely person. May he rest in peace.

Z in Switzerland
basedinvilligen.blogspot.com

Dustin said...

Pat,

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's always hard to lose a friend even when you know it's coming. But it's good to know that that friend will always be with us if you keep his memories alive in you. Take care and I wish you well during this difficult time.

Dustin
Flagstaff Daily Photo
http://flagstaffphoto.blogspot.com

Kuanyin said...

Lovely tribute, and I'm sorry for your loss! His Spirit will always be with you.

CG said...

A beautiful and fitting tribute, Pat.

Petrea said...

My condolences to all who knew Mark. I'm glad the web can be used to bring so many of us together.

almoak said...

As a good friend of my wonderful sister in Christ Pat Scott, I certainly want you, Sue, to know that I care. What a wonderul privilege to minister to Mark in those last months, and what a wonderful blessing to have him as your best and closest friend in this life.

Southern Heart said...

What a beautiful post in memory of your friend. My heart goes out to you.

Ollie said...

A touching tribute Pat... I send my condolences

Poly said...

My deepest sympathy to you, dear Sue, and the whole family circle of our dear friend Mark Gurkin.

Polycarpio (Mexico City)

kaa said...

My deepest condolences to the family. A lovely tribute you have done.

Steve Buser said...

A very moving tribute to your friend, Mark. Sorry to hear of your loss and greif -- our thoughts and prayers are with you and Mark's family

--steve buser

blueboat said...

Dear Pat,
what a lovely tribute to your friend - he obviously meant an awful lot to you. My condolences to you and to his family.

Murphy_jay said...

Dear Pat, what a beautiful thing to do for a friend.

My condolences to Sue and her family. Somehow I feel we can never fully healed from the loss of a loved one.

I am sure Mark is at a better place.

Hyderabad Daily Photo said...

Dear Pat,

thanks for sharing your lovely tribute to Mark. Indeed it is sad that you lost a good friend, but it is so heartening to see that we can find good friends through this medium.

My condolences to Sue. Sue, we were able to enjoy the beautiful photos that Mark took and are thankful for that.

sam said...

Lovely tribute Pat, and our condolences to Sue.

Denton said...

My thoughts and prayers are with Sue in this difficult time of lose. Mark shared many wonderful photos with the world and we will remember him from those photos and his comments.

~tanty~ said...

A very nice tribute Pat.
My deepest condolences to Sue and her family.

Kate said...

Dear Sue, Pat's post is a fitting tribute to a brave and talented man. May the future hold brighter days for you and may the good memories sustain you during this time of sorrow.

Fabrizio - ikol22 said...

I love your tribute Pat.

My heart goes out to Sue, her family and to you Pat.

Zsolt said...

wonderful tribute Pat...this community is so gentle!

My condolences to Sue and her family.

Zsolt from Budapest DP

Kim said...

Pat, I'm glad you reached out in friendship to Mark and to his wife, Sue. I'm so sorry for his young passing and the struggles they went through during his ill health. I've had a similar loss recently, and so I know how precious people like you are who share thoughtful contact consistently. I'm sure Mark enjoyed your care for him. Thank you for the comfort you sought to bring them. It is so encouraging to everyone when human beings who haven't even met face to face can care for each other. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt tribute. Wishing Sue much peace and fond memories as she greives the loss of her dear one.
-Kim
Seattle Daily Photo

Uma por Dia said...

My condolence to Sue.

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