Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Surprise death...

The other day, I was hanging out on Facebook when an old friend of mine from college popped up on my feed.  I met this guy when I was a freshman at Longwood and he was a junior.  He lived in the dorm next to mine.  I don't really remember how we met.  I want to say that some people who lived on his hall became friends with friends who lived on mine and we all started to mingle.  But anyway, we started hanging out.  I seem to remember him being in trouble with the school for some reason… and they were talking about kicking him out.  But he appealed and ended up getting to stay.  He went on to earn two degrees, one in history and one in accounting.

We used to party a lot.  I remember him making daiquiris in his dorm room.  I remember one time, we visited his sister at Virginia Tech.  His sister also visited us and stayed in my room, since during the spring of my freshman year, I didn't have a roommate.  I remember him to be a really good guy and a good friend to me.  I liked his sister, too.

Years later, we found each other on Facebook.  He had a girlfriend who was a nurse and enrolled in the doctoral program at UVa.  They eventually married and last year, they had a daughter.  I noticed that my old friend rarely posted on Facebook, but he did the other day and I noticed how beautiful his daughter was.  She has his red hair and brilliant blue-green eyes.  I didn't immediately see that he had also posted that his wife had just died.

I don't know what exactly killed my friend's wife.  All I know is that she had some kind of cancer.  If I had to guess, I would say it was probably some aggressive form of breast cancer, since it seems like it came on very suddenly.  She was wearing a t-shirt that was in support of breast cancer, too.  This woman was my age-- about six months older than me.  As of October, she had posted photos of her and my friend with their daughter in a pumpkin patch.  There was a photo of the little girl wearing a Wonder Woman tiara for Halloween.  As recently as last week, she had posted on my friend's Facebook.  And now she is dead.

Hearing about my friend's wife's death makes me realize how quickly things can change and how tragedy can strike when you least expect it.  Some folks who know this couple started a fundraiser for them.  I decided to donate yesterday for the little girl's education fund.  That poor child will never know her mother.  Today is the little girl's very first birthday and now my old friend has to raise her alone.

This situation kind of takes my mind off of what today is…  Today is the anniversary of our old dog MacGregor's death.  We had him euthanized last year because he had a malignant tumor in his spine.  That was a very sad thing to have to do right before Christmas, though in truth, I was a lot sadder to see that sweet old hound suffer the way he was at the very end.

Good things came in the wake of MacGregor's death.  I don't know how my old friend will make sense of his wife's tragic death to cancer.  But I hope that like Bill and me, he will find good things in the future after his loss.    


  1. How incredibly sad for everyone involved!

    1. I know. I can't even imagine the grief my friend must be dealing with right now. His wife was amazingly accomplished… had a PhD and was an Air Force veteran. But after reading her obituary, I'm left thinking that perhaps she had a genetic disposition toward cancer. I got the impression that her mother died when she was young, too.


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