It is with deep pain and profound sadness I remember one of my dearest friends. Ian passed quickly in his wife’s arms on January 30, while on holiday.
This is not my pain, it is all our pain. Ian was one of those rare gentlemen who improved everyone in his world.
As I sit here with tears rolling down my cheeks, I try to remember back to our first meeting. I am fairly sure it was on tour in Las Vegas at least 17 years ago. I was new to touring and in a gentle, reserved manner, he read just how new I was at the job and offered a few kind yet pertinent pointers that helped me immeasurably.
Over the years we became close and shared a management position. Ian was based in the Bay area and me here in the Rockies. We would talk daily and visit often. Everything about Ian was real.
Born in Ipswich, Australia, Ian lost his father to the coal mines. An early bout of cancer frightened Ian into living each day to the fullest and over the years he accumulated innumerable experiences, a wide circle of loyal friends and, of course, his beloved wife, Kim Valencia.
While Ian was successful in all his endeavours, there was nothing arrogant or pretentious about him. I fondly remember him telling me that he knew his life was a success when he did not have to ask the price of a beer before ordering! (….and he always paid first!)
When Finn was only 6 months old, we went to San Francisco to visit Ian and Kim. Finn and I returned for another visit three years later. Finally we convinced Ian and Kim to come for a ski trip and that secured Ian’s position as ‘uncle’ Ian. I honestly do not know how I will tell Finn of this tragedy.
As lives do, we all became busy, but Ian and I always made time to connect. On the phone he’d call Finn ‘Bob’ and tell me smack him. Of course he meant hug him. Ian meant well by everyone and if you were lucky enough to have him as a friend, you felt loved and supported.
Quite honestly, not having Ian there leaves me – and so many more – feeling empty.
As Kim has asked, I will try my hardest to “celebrate our friendship with him, as he would want nothing less.”
It is difficult not to be selfish at a moment like this – I am shocked and saddened. I suppose one must ponder Tennyson’s words; “t’is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all…” For most certainly my life has been better with such a friend.
Ian Hayward – you were a friend, a gentleman, a husband and a citizen of the world. You knew what you did not know and were motivated by kindness. You had a brilliant sense of humour and I only wish you could be the one to speak to your own passing … somehow you’d make it easier for all of us who will miss you so much.