Since I heard the news, I have not been able to get Mark Lewis out of my mind. His passing saddens me in a way I can't fully explain because of what a wonderful, sweet and warm man he was. I didn't know him very well, but my limited interactions with him left an impression on me.
I first saw Mark at Faeriecon a few (well, more than a few) years ago. I was so enthralled with his bubbly personality and the way he told stories. He talked to anyone... EVERYONE... it didn't matter who you were.
One year after that, my best friend and I decided to become vendors at Faeriecon. We had never done anything like it before, so we were understandably nervous. Our booth happened to be right next to the stage downstairs, and we were so excited because we would get to hear Mark's stories.
The first day of the Con, I remember seeing him all dressed up, and he had on white spats. I made a comment on them, and he said "I do feel a little like Bustopher Jones..." and I said "The smartest of names in the Hall of St. James." And he let out this big, booming laugh, then just caught me up in a bear hug.
He talked to my friend and I for a while, and we told him we were new to the Fae community and a little nervous, and every single day, he made sure to stop by and speak to us. At every opportunity, he introduced us to people so we would make friends. He really helped make that an incredible experience for us.
Weeks building up to the news of his passing, I have been planning on returning to Faeriecon next year with a large group of my friends, and all I could think of was how I can't wait for them to meet Mark and Billy. I'm so sad that they won't get the opportunity to have that light shine on their lives in person, but hope to keep the memory of such a great man going.
I will miss you Mark!