Monday, September 24, 2012

The Fallen

I woke up early this morning because it was my first time sending out the weekly sales summary for which I am responsible. I figured I'd get into the office early to ensure I had plenty of time to make a couple mistakes before it was complete. Today, felt like just another Monday.

Tomorrow is my one month anniversary of being married. My social security docs went into the mail today to change my name. On Thursday, my committee is putting on the first Training Event that I have been able to attend. It's the everyday life, day in and day out.

I turn my phone off on most mornings so that I'm not tempted to check it on a regular basis. At some point before lunch is normally when I give it life again. In a strange turn of events, life was the exact subject of a text I received.

Ronnie was my best friend my senior year in high school. We spent hours on the phone every night. He often told me that I wasn't good for his sleeping schedule, but we'd talk through the wee hours of the morning anyhow. He had a temper and would occasionally put large holes in his parents’ house. We made a pact that he would call me before making any new holes. If at the end of our conversation he felt the need to hit the wall, he could. Together, we saved a number of walls. There was no romantic spark from my end. I was graduating and moving to Colorado for school and wanted nothing to hold me back. I introduced him to my best female friend and encouraged the two of them to get to know each other. Six years later, they broke up. We drifted as he had a new center of attention. But at the same time, there are friends you see and never skip a beat. Our paths separated as I left the Bay Area and he chose a different life's path. Through social media, I’ve been able to keep up with him…

That text was to inform me that he died last night of a drug overdose. At first, all the what ifs flashed through my mind. Then there were the memories that stood out, as real as yesterday. Finally, I found myself with a sense of bewilderment. What do you say? He was 32 years old, not much older than me. I see a life ahead of me and he seemed to see nothing. How does that happen? Accidental? On purpose? You just wonder. He's joined those who died too young and yet maybe he's just in a better place.

When I first saw the text, I didn’t believe it. I immediately went to Facebook – strange how the world has changed. And I find it even odder how the social world lives even when you’re not breathing. Condolences, photos, thoughts of hope, sympathy… it was a little too much for me to bare at the moment. I shut it down. Asked my friend if she wanted support and left it at that. I feel weird, but I can’t seem to find the emotions or explanation.

As the years pass, the tables turn. My grandmother at 85 is doing fairly well. More of her friends have passed than are living. While living a long life to see your descendants grow is something for which I hope. I always wonder if there's an interesting dichotomy there with watching all your friends pass. It always seems so sad when someone passes old and yet much sadder when someone is young.

Rest in Peace, Ronnie.

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