As I am writing this, the news that Leonard Nimoy had passed is just over an hour old. I have shed quite a few tears already and probably will shed more. I have never met Mr. Nimoy. I am but one of the millions of fans who have admired his work, all of it, not just Star Trek, but everything. The other roles, the poetry, the photography.
Of course, like so many other millions, I first saw Nimoy as Mr. Spock, the half-Vulcan science officer of the USS Enterprise. Though for me, he was Monsieur Spock, le lieutenant-commandeur de l'Entreprise, on the show Patrouille du Cosmos. He was logical, he was kind, steadfast and loyal and above all coherent and ethical. The latter two qualities were so completely appealing to me. Spock's ability to set aside emotion to act in a coherent, ethical and fair manner, in all circumstances, was what I wanted in myself. I was five and I wanted to be Vulcan. Hell, I wanted to be Spock. I wanted to be a scientist, figuring stuff out, using knowledge and logic to solve problems and make the world better. In outer space if possible, hopefully in the far future.
I am who I am today, the person who thrives every day to be good, fair, logical, coherent and scientific because, at five, I wanted to be Spock.
As I got older, I recognized that yes, the character was written that way, but were it not for Leonard Nimoy, Spock would have been just another weird alien with no personality and a catchphrase. Spock, through Nimoy, was a full person.
Nimoy did a zillion other things. He was on Mission: Impossible, which I loved also (and watched in French too). From the 1980s, as I learned English, I heard the bad space music records, saw other films, besides the Star Trek movies. By the 1990s, there was poetry. Later, beautiful, moving, human photographs.
When Nimoy, on Twitter, offered to become everyone's honorary grand-father, I had to admit he was already that to me. As fundamental as Spock once was to me, Nimoy became as important in the last couple decades. Emblematic of just how great a person he was, Nimoy's last tweet speaks loudly.
Let us all remember then that Leonard Nimoy was a great person, a great actor, a marvellous photographer, a pretty good poet, and Spock. He lived long and he prospered. Let us all attempt to do half as well as he did.
And, yes, since he offered, I'll be mourning my honorary grand-father, as un-Vulcan as that is.
ETA, 1 March 2015: I'm still crying.