After he died, I found this wrinkled brown newsprint tucked in the back of his leather wallet.
I put it in a tiny frame on a narrow wall in my home.
When I pass by, I remember his high-minded goals and, once again, I forgive him.
"I have to live with myself, and so
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able, as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye.
I don't want to stand, with the setting sun,
And hate myself for the things I've done.
I want to go out with my head erect,
I want to deserve every person's respect.
For here - in the struggle for fame and self -
I want to be able to like myself.
I don't want to look at myself and know
I'm bluster, a bluff, an empty show.
I never can hide myself from me,
I see what others may never see.
I know what others may never know.
I never can fool myself. And so -
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience-free."
Rest in peace, Hans Holmgren.
I will always love you.