Saturday, January 12, 2008

A strange, sad week...

This week, my brother lost a dear friend (too soon), and one of my coworkers lost her husband FAR too soon.

My brother's friend "AC" died Monday from pancreatic cancer at age 62. For me, that's too soon -- I have noticed that as I age, the frame of "older" gets dramatically smaller. AC had been diagnosed during football season, and really started getting sicker and sicker once football season ended. But even during the season, as time went on, my brother and his friends realized that this was AC's last football season, and it was so overwhelming and so sad, they just couldn't think about it. My brother had planned to call AC's wife on Monday to see if he could go by and visit that night -- only to first get the voice mail he didn't want to get. He went to AC's funeral yesterday, met the other members of his family and all their tailgating buddies. He said it was quite touching -- and that when they folded the flag and played Taps, he nearly lost it. I would have too.....

As for me, I got to work Wednesday to hear that "Hank" (husband of my coworker "Jan") had died at age 27. Now, if 62 is too young for me, imagine when someone younger than you passes. Hank had also been sick, with a kidney disease that forced him to dialysis every other day. Strangely enough, Hank had just done some temporary work for us that wrapped up just before Christmas -- and I had just filed some of the paperwork we kept on the work. I told my boss it was really weird to now look at the folder with Hank's name and realize that he's now gone. Anyway, Jan's boss sent out a beautiful e-mail telling us what had happened, and how much she personally admired both Hank and Jan for their upbeat attitude and positive outlook, no matter what they were facing. I am not sure if the kidney disease itself got him, or if his body just said, "Enough..." Sadly, he also left behind a young child from a previous relationship. When I got to the visitation last evening, his little child was there, and in his casket was the sweetest letter (in a child's handwriting) that said "Daddy, I am going to miss you so much. I know Jan will miss you much too." I had to bite my lip to keep from blubbering....

Sometimes, those sober little reminders are just what we need to help us move forward in life. It's an opportunity to reflect on where we're going, what we're doing, and if it's helpful or harmful -- and what we can do to change things if we don't like it.

So what I'm taking away from the sad events of the week is a re-evaluation of my own attitude and outlook on things. Is what I'm doing helpful, harmful, a little of both, neither at all, and what do I intend to do about improving it?

2 comments:

Talmadge G. said...

I think I've said this a long time ago .... but losing friends to death just might be more difficult than family members.

Perhaps it's because we can choose our friends, and if their bad qualities outweigh the good, we have the option of removing ourselves. But that's just a guess on my part.

As I further tread into my forties, the moral is clearer by the day: enjoy those you have and never take them for granted, because you're not guaranteed them tomorrow.

Kate/Susan said...

*Hugs*

No great words of wisdom or solace, just want you to know I'm thinking of you!