He looked upon the face of his enemy, and he laughed.

Yesterday I received some bad news regarding a former manager and colleague that I had worked with. After a lengthy battle with a rare form of cancer, he unfortunately succumbed in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Now, I won’t claim that we were ever friends, with a number of disagreements being had between the two of us whilst at the battleground that was the day job, but we did have a lot in common, and he was a good man, always ready with a witty retort and a capable scathing edge to his thoughts that always led to entertaining exchanges between the two of us.

I still remember the first time we spoke with one another; I was in the break area reading a volume of Scott Pilgrim (pre-movie popularity) and, when Nicky spotted this, he immediately started a conversation regarding it, seemingly pleased  to find somebody else who could share his appreciation for comic books, and all things geeky.

At least for that hour lunch break.

Nicky Boardman didn’t allow his situation to dictate his mood, maintaining as much of an upbeat outlook on his diagnosis and on life as he could. This alone marks him out as a man of truly remarkable substance. Brave in the face of adversity, and endlessly courageous in using his humour to attempt to cope with his constantly shifting state of health, Nicky was a stronger man than most to be able to look upon his enemy and attempt to openly mock it.

Sadly, I can’t say we were friends, despite the amount of interests we had in common; it seems a shame to me that petty concepts and boundaries of authority didn’t allow us an opportunity to connect in a more human way.

Perhaps in another life, eh, brother?

That doesn’t however stop the fact that Nicky Boardman has my respect. It takes a particular type of person to be diagnosed the way he was and to be able to roll with that punch, remaining a doting family man throughout his entire endeavour.

I urge you to check out Nicky’s blog, Too Upbeat For Cancer.

I can’t do the man’s words justice here. So, please, take a moment out of your day to read the words of a man braver than many you may know, as he openly discusses (often in hilariously graphic detail) the life of a man who would not allow his spirit to be broken.

His was a will of iron, and his blog lives on as a testament to this fact.

My thoughts are with his family, wife and son during this difficult time.


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