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Peter Carl Flitton

[This entry was originally posted on my MySpace blog. It was transferred to WordPress on 1/20/2013.]

In fifth grade, there was a new kid at school.  He wasn’t in my class, but I saw him around the Roosevelt Elementary playground.  Somehow, someway, I met this kid.  I think he may have been in my reading class, but the details don’t matter.  I overheard him on the playground quoting a song by “Weird Al” Yankovic and since I was a big fan of Al myself, I decided I would approach him.  I don’t remember what line he quoted or even what song it was from, but I remember that he said his name was Pete. 

Pete and I met on the playground a number of times after that and laughed over “Weird Al” songs.  I learned that he loved Star Wars and that he was a Christian and his father was a minister.  Pete and I got along very well during our fifth grade year and didn’t spend time together again until seventh grade because he went to a different school for sixth.  But before we parted ways for that year, we made a pact to someday visit the “Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota” that Weird Al sang about.

Junior high came along and Pete and I shared a few classes.  I remember that during “free reading” times he would usually have a novelization of a Star Wars film and that for a book report one time he read an informational book on porcupines.

In high school Pete was in band.  He played tuba and declared the back of the room Tubaland.  I played timpani right next to Tubaland and Peter declared the Timpani Nation to be an ally of his friendly country.  The alliance was never severed.

Along with a number of friends, Peter and I finally made our journey to the ball of twine in Darwin, Minnesota.  We made it an annual trip.  The only time Peter missed was when he was in Mongolia.

Pete and I had a number of good talks.  We talked about girls, about working fast food (he at Subway, me at McDonald’s), and we talked about God.  He was one of the most level-headed teenagers I knew.  We watched anime in PJ’s basement, we teased our dear friend Bryan, we joked with Mr. Krieger about his Norwest Bank commercial, but at the same time Peter was completely serious about life and spirituality.  He taught me a thing or two about that. 

There are so many fond memories of this man that to type them all out would take up my entire hard drive.  I cannot remember ever seeing Pete angry.  I cannot ever remember a time in which Pete was too grumpy to laugh and smile.  So many times, he tried to cheer me up and to convince me that whatever I was angry about would pass away.  He was one of the funniest people I have ever known and he was so selfless.  My friend Peter was truly a once in a lifetime person.

On Tuesday May 30, my friend Peter escaped from his long and gruelling battle with cancer.  He leaves behind his beautiful wife Bethany, his siblings, his parents, his grandmother and a plethora of lives touched by his amazing influence.  He left his body behind and he has finally found a peaceful and completely painless existence.  We are sad for our own sakes.  We are sad that we no longer get to hear a new “ninja marshmallow” joke.  We are sad that we will never again endure a Star Wars or Planet of the Apes marathon with him.  We are sad that we will never hear him laugh again.  But even though we can not see him, he has not left us completely empty handed.  Peter’s positive outlook and his constant quest for laughter touched everyone who ever knew him.  The effect of his personal beauty will forever be imprinted on my heart.  He was one of my dear friends and I miss him.  But he’s not completely gone.  He never will be.

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