This morning I woke up to the bitter news that a friend had passed. I don’t know the circumstances of his passing, only that one day he was doing the things he loved best — bowling and laughing with friends — and the next day he was gone. I’ve heard rumors of heart failure, which can strike in an instant. If older than me, this friend was not by much. It is alarming.
To know this man you would know that he had a heart of pure gold. He was always there with a quick wry comment. Always willing to pitch in. He had a big, strong smile that would make his eyes squint. It seems he always got the jokes, and I could often hear him laugh at things I said from two lanes away. He was one of the select few that would stop at my work to say hi just because he was driving by. It is a pity that the weavers of destiny do not take into account “nice guy” when they decide your fate.
To hear of the passing, to feel the loss, of someone so close to your own inner circle is staggering. He was only one lane over in my journey of life and maybe two cars ahead. To take that curve and see the wreckage is a warning to me, I know. The warning isn’t to beware death or live cautiously in the slower lane but to live fully, to accelerate through the curves, and keep a big, strong smile to share every day. Life is too short, by far.
I don’t know when the end will come for me. Nobody does. I don’t know what happens after. Nobody does. I can only hope that the hereafter is a place of peace, in whatever form that takes. I hope that our memories live on somehow, but if they do not it becomes all the more crucial to hold the memories of those fallen in our own hearts and to share their stories compassionately.
In some cases that just comes naturally. This is just such a case. Farewell, my friend. Keep the heavens smiling; and teach the angels to bowl.