Today was supposed to be a good day. It's not.
I read about Pauly's grandmother. Then I heard that a co-worker, a colleague of mine for more than 15 years, died over the weekend. She was a whip-smart woman, far too young, who did a lot for me over the years to advance my career. I, and all my co-workers will miss her dearly.
I've had trouble filling this space lately. Part of it was a full-on writing hangover from my NaNo sprint. Part of it was the rigors of the season, getting to those myriad tasks and details I neglected over the past month. But the biggest part that I couldn't find anything to matter.
Last Monday, I got a call from a friend, a former co-worker who was my partner in crime on the job at a time when things weren't really going all that well for either of us. It was a shit gig, completely devoid of critical thinking, full of mindless repetition. But he made the nights go by easier with his humor and his mania.
He went to the hospital last weekend with a "splitting headache," which turned out to be a brain tumor. He was immediately rushed into surgery, which was successful. He's facing some radiation treatments, but, as of this writing, he's expected to recover fully, great news for he and his family, including his one-year old daughter.
Another friend, a man who has enriched my life in countless ways, who is responsible for nearly every one of my memorable experiences in the last 10 years, is preparing to have open-heart surgery in a couple weeks. He has been, quite literally, a father figure to me, talented, selfless and tireless. I owe him so much. And I pray he will be well.
This is the part where I remind everyone what's really important in life, but, knowing my readers, that's unnecessary. But maybe I need to remind myself to make that effort to give to others, the way these people have given to me. You don't get anywhere in life without the love and support of friends and family. And it's no fun going anywhere, if you can't bring others along, share your knowledge and friendship and love and laughter.
I'm going to see my grandparents in St. Louis next month. They're in their 80s and are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary. You ask them about their lives, ask them their accomplishments and they always say, "look around you." It's their children, their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren, each of us a part of them, infused with their wisdom and nature. Their time is short. But they'll never really leave us. Not as long as their memory remains. To be cherished, to be shared and, most of all, to serve as a reminder of how to live.