Every year has its list of fallen icons that we are never ready for. Just for a reflecting example; Chris Cornell-2017, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher, and David Bowie-2016. Despite the news coverage we receive, the grieving seems to never get easier. This week we all face that truth once again and I find myself at a particular loss for words, but I also feel the need to share this.
My wife Hannah and I were running errands on Tuesday; driving through Atlanta like any other day. The traffic was congested and monotonous as usual, so my attention was fixated on the slow commute while Hannah was browsing the internet on her phone. Several minutes of quiet driving were suddenly pierced when Hannah read aloud a chilling headline; “Stan Lee died today…”. My impulse was to assume this was another celebrity death hoax roaming the web, but that did not last long. Stan Lee passed away due to his long battle with pneumonia. What saddens me more is how little I knew about his illness until the day he died. I was never lucky enough to meet this legend. However, I was lucky enough to see him from a short distance when he came to visit my city.
(DragonCon 2017 Parade)
I’ve never spoken a word to him and only saw him in person once, yet I realize how much of an influence this man has had in my life. Iron Man, Spider-Man, Daredevil and The Incredible Hulk were my all time favorite super heroes from kid to adulthood. These characters were fantastic inspirations for me, inspirations that took part in shaping me into the person I wished to grow into. Stan Lee created so many amazing characters accompanied with fantastic stories that entertained millions for generations. That is an incredible legacy that will continue to entertain countless more for countless more generations as far as I’m concerned. I am grateful to have been alive to experience the entertainment generated by Stan. Not just for the love of the heroes and villains he created, but for the love of his passion to entertain. The man loved what he did and had a lot of fun doing it. That has been by biggest inspiration from his work.
I want to leave this post with a quote that really hits home for me. I’m sad to see such a familiar face in Marvel movie cameos to no longer make those appearances, but I don’t think Stan would want any of us to be sad. I think he would want us to take what we love, what we learn in life and pass it along to others to do the same.
“You know, my motto is ‘Excelsior.’ That’s an old word that means ‘upward and onward to greater glory.’ It’s on the seal of the state of New York. Keep moving forward, and if it’s time to go, it’s time. Nothing lasts forever.” – Stan Lee, Playboy“
We love you Stan. You will live on in our hearts for eternity. Excelsior.