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Saturday, 30 July 2011

Sad.... not even a little funny.

Ran out of steam this week... Had nothing witty or funny to say, and I'm coming to the realization that most of the things we worry about really have zero significance...

A dear friend of mine, a man I've known for more than 25 years, had a horrible tragedy occur last weekend.  It's really putting all the "crises" I face daily in question.  I can't fathom what they're going through, and frankly I don't want to. 

This friend of mine is a tall, lanky, easy going man who has appeared not to age. Ever... He was one of the "older" people in my college class, having a big 4 years or so on me, but back in the day that seemed to be a loooooong time....He was just always sooo much more worldly than the rest of us... He looks EXACTLY the same as he did back then, and now appears younger than many of the "kids" he went to school with.  

He is brilliant, funny,with a keen but quiet wit, thoughtful and kind.  His heart has always been about three sizes too big even for his 6 foot 6 frame. When we were in college, he dated two of the hottest girls in school.  NO not at the same time... he wasn't that sort of guy.  He wasn't classically handsome, but certainly was charming... and the women he chose to spend his time with were not only gorgeous, but smart too.  That hasn't changed.

He elected not to marry until he was over 40, but when he did, he landed yet another hawt blond.  When he became a father to a set of stunningly beautiful twins 5 years ago, everyone who knew him felt he'd be a great dad.  That fact was evident to me many times over, watching him patiently play with his son and daughter, showing his pride on his face, and his heart on his sleeve. 

His wife is about 10 years his junior I would guess, and they chose to have her stay home with the kids.  She is a doting mother....  I have been getting to know and appreciate her over the past couple of years.  I give her credit, she's managed to hold her own with my tight knit college class...

Last weekend, she took the kids to a lake about an hour and a half from town, where her parents have a home.  They'd spent a lot of time there in the past, and while my friend had just started a new job and couldn't be there, she took the kids up anyhow to have a break.

One of the days there, they decided to spend the evening outdoors... and the events that followed are still unclear.  One of the twins, the son, slipped into the water off the dock, and was later found by his grandfather, floating face down in the lake.  His mother, screaming for help started CPR in anticipation of the emergency crew, who arrived and took over. 

The boy was transported to the hospital in the nearest city while police here located my friend... I am so glad the person in charge of the medical emergency helicopter service elected to transport my friend to his son's bedside.  What an amazing gesture of compassion....Otherwise he would have been on the road for an hour and a half.  The decision has been questioned by some of the general public here.  I'm disgusted by that to be honest.  The trip cost the city $750, and while it could set a precedent, I would ask what those people would want if they were the father of a 5 year old boy clinging to life...

I suspect many of these people aren't parents because they've questioned the commitment of the parents to the safety of their child.  It's easy to sit back and be sanctimonious when you haven't had to parent 5 year old twins.  EVERY parent should know they've had situations happen where but by the grace of God their child might have died.  EVERY one of us has had close calls in our own lives where we could have died despite the best efforts of our parents to keep us safe.

Our little college community will likely raise far more than the helicopter trip cost, and will put that money toward the service they provided.  I am so grateful my friend was able to get to his family.  His boy lost his fight for life that day, and so the next weeks and months will be bleak for this family. 

I'm proud to be part of a group who will support them through the dark days and months to come.... we love one another.  We are a strange group of creative types who put people before tasks, ALWAYS... and therefore are not wealthy, but we're rich in friendships.

Rest in peace little man, and rest assured your parents loved you every second of your short life... and that both of them would take your place given the chance.  Your sister will have to make her way through her life without you to be there to have her back, but she's been left in good hands.



  1. A beautiful and touching tribute E. In this lifetime we should all be so lucky to be blessed to have such wonderful and loving friends...There's always going to be people who question the actions of others. Doesn't make it right. Just the reality of life. And you're right. If we would all just put ourselves in another's shoes more often we'd be a better and more compassionate world.
    My heart too goes out to this family.

  2. Beautiful thoughtful , expressive and simply written from the heart. You have left me in tears.
    -Bill McFarlane