Lawrence, I am not going to try to coin the words to express exactly what your colleagues and family members are going through on account of your passing. Even with the notice you did serve all of us, it is still traumatic and heart-rending. The void left is irreplaceable! The kids have been given lethal doses- a superhero vanished in plain view and will never be found!
You did describe the bond between you and your kids that surgery morning. The tears poured and your quivering voice said a million words, Lawrence. You did not want to sleep but again, the medical protocols were instructive-you were to be artificially placed to bed.
For five long arduous months, I saw you showcase a survival instinct-battling an unknown enemy. Even after experienced medical practitioners rendered a verdict of a perceived inability to come back from your bed, you defied their validation and starting breathing again without an aid. You gave hope and as soon as we started believing you, there was a relapse! Prayers came from every corner but again, He had other plans.
We had big dreams, Randall. Humongous as they seemed, we had formulae to achieve them. I should be celebrating the completion of your graduate school work but here I am trying to evoke sentiments leading to teary eyes. The plan, you know, was not in public sector governance anymore-except that we were constrained by agreements landing us at Georgetown. Our first joint consultancy with the Brookings Institution was a bomb. "This is a high quality paper those graduate students have written," a senior executive wrote in an e-mail. Our response, in our parlance was, " jeh give our cheque to us paco, you think we jehgraduate students..." That contract reinforced the commitment that we could do it together outside the public sphere. TLaw, I can't still fathom why you were chosen as that perfect candidate to leave this place. Your thoughts were just so remarkable -always with a zillion plans!
You were an academic-I know so! Even those who opposed you knew. You did leave indelible prints. I do read your peer-reviewed submissions. You know we did not agree on everything but I appreciated that we talked about yours and mine.
In you, Randall, I've lost someone with a sublime interest in social calisthenics. Your smiles and humorous citations will be missed. Bukon Café, Adam Morgans-in the heart of DC, will always remain with me.
I joined other colleagues to bid you goodbye last Saturday but your humble voice will remain with me and forever. Goodbye Lawrence!
M. BoakaiJaleiba, Jr.