Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Why yesterday sucked for other people...

Yesterday morning, I found out that my friend Pam died.  I hadn't seen Pam in about fifteen years or so.  She and I used to work together at a restaurant in Virginia.  We kind of came from different worlds.

Pam's sister also worked at the same restaurant.  Truthfully, I was closer friends with Pam's sister, probably because Pam was married when I knew her and her sister wasn't.  Also, we just had more in common.

Pam had a sudden massive stroke last week and died over the weekend.  I don't know what caused the stroke, though I do know that when I knew her, Pam liked drinking and smoking.  Perhaps she also had untreated high blood pressure.  I really couldn't say.

While death is a terrible thing, I don't know that it's worse than what can happen to a person after they've had a massive stroke.  Severe brain damage and paralysis are just two consequences I can think of off the top of my head.  It would have been a great burden on her family, not to mention difficult for her to live with.  On the other hand, she was a really cool person... very funny and hardworking.

Pam had a son.  He's now in his late 20s or early 30s and, a couple of days ago, he set up a crowd funding campaign to help cover Pam's funeral bill.  She didn't have life insurance and her family isn't financially prepared to take care of her funeral costs.

I donated to the cause because though Pam had her share of problems, she was genuinely a good and decent person.  I enjoyed working with her and have a lot of empathy for her family.  I know they are grieving terribly right now.    

Later, Bill came home and we had dinner.  He went to check his grade on the big project he was working on over the weekend.  He got an F.  This was a shock to him, since he had been getting straight As on everything.

Bill was going to send the professor an email because he was very confused about why he got such a low grade.  But then he realized he hadn't read all of the instructions.  There were six pages worth and he only read the first two.  So now he can redo the project for a maximum of 75 of the original 100 points, or he can fail the course.  If he fails, he has to pay for it... $2100.  So I guess this weekend will be full of him redoing the project and taking his final exam.  He says he's burned out on school.  I believe it.  I've been where he is.  Hope he can knuckle through it and be done with the program in December.

Just now, I found out that a guy I didn't know from San Antonio died a couple of months ago.  I was Facebook friends with him I think because he played Mafia Wars or something.  Back in the earlier days of Facebook, if you wanted to add Farmville "neighbors" or mafia members, you had to be friends with a person.  So that resulted in my being Facebook friends with about half a dozen people I don't know and never interact with.  Actually, I have become friends with one of my Mafia Wars adds.  The rest of them, not so much.

Anyway, I noticed a message on my Facebook feed about this guy and how much he's missed.  I went to his page and read... and it looks like even though we were "friends" on Facebook and didn't know each other, he was a pretty awesome guy.  He had a loving relationship with his daughter and his wife.  It looks like he had recently become a grandfather.  And he was only about a year older than I was when he passed away in August.

I can see that two months after his death, he still has all these people thinking about him.  He was lucky enough to be much loved during his lifetime, as was Pam.  Life is so short and you never know when it might suddenly end.

As for today, it looks like the sun is breaking through the clouds.  However, they are calling for snow tonight.  It probably won't stick or anything, though someone I know in Wiesbaden has posted a couple of snow pics.  This sure isn't Texas.


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