About six months ago, I had dinner with Rob at a downtown Italian bistro.
As I wrote at the time, Rob appeared happy and optimistic. He had lost some weight. The cancer appeared in remission or at least appeared beatable.
And Ford had that political fire in his belly.
He was highly critical of the John Tory mayoralty and in two years, he said, he was going take him on again and win back the mayoralty.
Though the cancer beat Ford today, the cancer will never wipe out the love and affection that many Torontonians had for this man.
The rock-solid support of his followers never wavered. Even his political foes and media opponents grudgingly acknowledged that fact.
Rob Ford was the consummate retail politician, a true man of the people. And he had great political instincts.
These political traits made him ultimately a very formidable politician.
He also genuinely cared about people and he sincerely wanted to help them out, whether it be by fixing the potholes in the neighborhood, ensuring the heat was turned back on in their apartment, or making sure there was sufficient local police in the area to ensure the safety of the local citizens.
These little things that mean a great deal to the average man or woman on the street regardless of race, color, creed, gender, ethnicity or religion.
Hey, buddy, the fight is over. You can safely rest in peace.
But your indomitable spirit and the many fond memories will always linger on among your many friends and followers.