The man who taught me chess as a child passed away last night.

We’ve had a long time family friend from Canada visit us on a yearly basis. He barely spoke any English but when I was 8 or 9 he had the patience to teach me the rules of chess and basic strategy with pointing and very broken English. Each year since then we’ve played a few games of chess when he comes to visit. We’ve never even had a real conversation without laughing at each others attempt to understand. Last time I saw him I gave him a handshake and thought about offering to play a game, but I felt lazy. I wish now I had hugged him and asked for a game. Now I’m 30 and just found out he passed away in his sleep last night.

Someone told me I could thank him by teaching another kid to play chess. Something I’ve been doing the past few years in my chess club. I realize he might have inspired me.

It isn’t until now that I realize I wish I had thanked him for teaching me chess. Merci Mr Ronald.

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