This past weekend, I was asked to give a eulogy for Paul Bodamer. This is what I said…
“Life is like the oil within a lamp. It can be measured, but the pace at which it burns depends on how the dial is turned day by day, how bright and fierce the flame. And there is no predicting whether the lamp might be knocked to the ground and shatter, when it could have blazed on a great while longer. Such is the unpredictability of life.
If there’s anything that today reveals, it is that life is ever unpredictable; the only thing we are certain of is the here and now. Today is testament that the most unexpected can happen at any given time. That unexpected event can very often be a good thing, but never did I imagine I would be standing here before you to honor Paul’s life. He left us far too soon.
When someone leaves us unexpectedly, it will leave you with a plethora questions and the feeling you’re riding an emotional rollercoaster that seemingly doesn’t end. I’m angry. I’m sad. I miss him as we all do. We all do the best we can with what we have at the moment. Paul did the best he could and while something somehow took him away from us, Paul’s influence on us will remain.
Paul came into my life because Paul was doing what Paul always did, he was helping others. Paul was giving another studio engineer work in his studio and just so happened that same cat had just recorded a live show I did. He invited me to the studio to check out the mix. As we were talking and I was telling him of some of my ideas, he said, “You have to meet Paul.” He gave me his contact info and I reached out to him.
Looking back on it, our first meeting was again another example of Paul being Paul. We met at a Starbucks out in Lexington. At the time it was very convenient for me. However, that meeting easily put him 30-minutes away from where he was. So, he spent around an hour of driving across town just to meet with some musician who was seeking help.
From then on, we were a team doing our best to document and support the jazz community and doing things to help make our capital city a fun and exciting place to live. We recorded a lot. We did a lot. We hung out a lot. We became friends. Paul was one of those special people in your life that you can’t explain. I lovingly referred to Paul as my angel.
Paul was a source of guidance and counsel. He could have some pretty strong statements and he did challenge me often, but he always had my back. Paul was a protector. From golf to music to relationships to adult beverages to finances to just about every facet of life, Paul was there. He was truly invested in me and my family’s well-being. To that end, he officiated my wedding to make sure we got off on the right foot.
Life is unpredictable. But here and now, we can say for certain, Paul lived a fuller life than most could ever imagine. Paul did good things; he did great things.
I will continue to be inspired by Paul and keep pushing onwards and upwards. My hope for you is you’ll do the same. Keep pushing, keep helping others and live a full life. ” – Mark Rapp