Parting Thoughts on Parting

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This partial transcript of Fox News Sunday, July 8, 2001 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.

Ken Smith, an editor and columnist at The Washington Times, and one of my best friends, died Tuesday after a horrifying bout with liver cancer. 

When you watch a friend suffer as he did, you can react two ways: You can tremble with rage, or you can count your blessings. 

Fortunately, Ken showed the way.  A couple of weeks ago, he said, I'm going to fight this thing, but if I lose, I'll just see you on the other side. 

Ken was a study in vivid contrasts.  He was a ferocious gentleman, a populist intellectual, a Southern Midwesterner and a Midwestern Southerner.  He loved fine bourbon and cheap chocolates, dancing the shag, and attending the opera.  He played basketball like a wild man and drove like a NASCAR racer headed for the checkered flag. 

He was a generous skinflint.  He gave every penny of his estate to charity.  And he was the rare kind of person who never set out to create enemies and never lost a friend. 

Ken didn't want to die, he didn't want the pain.  But he never complained, and he more about those grieving for him than about himself.  In the end, he gave all of us a very special gift:  a chance to witness his luminous and unshakable faith. 

Someday, when we make it to the other side, I'm sure Ken will be there, big old smile on his face, ready to give the tour and make the necessary introductions.  And being reunited with him will make the place seem just like, well, heaven. 

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