Dad called Monday morning to let me know that an old boss of mine had passed away. A couple of months ago I heard that he had the cancer pretty bad, so it wasn't unexpected. I hadn't seen him in two or three years, but figured I'd go to the visitation. I worked there for eight and a half years, my longest tenure at any job.
As I was looking online for the funeral arrangements, I came across the obituary of someone else I knew--a lady I used to go to church with. Even though I hadn't seen her in probably fifteen or twenty years, she still mailed me a birthday card each year. A couple of years ago, she wrote that it would probably be the last time she'd be able to send a card as her health was failing. She sent at least one more after that.
After that, I was left wondering who the third would be? I would find out Tuesday, when Mom told me a guy I went to school with and played youth league basketball with had died a couple of weeks ago. Turns out the third had already occurred, I guess. He was 36. Brain cancer.
The news left me feeling solemn. Reflective and quiet. I felt guilty because I wasn't particularly close to any of the three. Even though there was a time where I saw each of them weekly, if not more often, years and years had passed since then.
I know each of the deceased were a mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother, and friend to so many. And obviously, my heart and prayers go out to them. But for me, it was a strange feeling. It felt like death from a distance. And I feel guilty or selfish or something for even thinking that.
Death hadn't come into my home. But it passed nearby. I heard it swirling outside. I felt it wafting thru the windows, reminding me of it's ever-presence. And leaving me with a chill.
Driving home from the visitation last night, I rolled the windows down and opened the sunroof. I wanted to see the stars, feel the night air, and be reminded that I was alive. Most of all, I just wanted to keep driving.
"And we'll climb up on the mountain, ya'll, we'll let our voices ring. Those who've never tried it, they'll be the first to sing..."