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Three Years Later

This doesn’t mark three years ago that my friend died, the number is now four. I tried writing something new about him but the words didn’t come this year. Sometimes it goes like that. This is a reprint of last year’s piece on this date.

Humor returns to the blog tomorrow.

Today, as every day, I miss Fred.

 

Three years ago today was a Friday. I’d slipped out-of-town for an over-night visit with my son at college. By the time I arrived, Fred had passed away back home.

Despite a heroic effort to contact me, I didn’t know we’d lost him until I read the news the next morning. I remember staring a lot that day. There were other things, but mostly there was staring.

That Saturday night, back home, I was still staring. I published what I felt that night, and then went to work at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, on no sleep, for my first shift without him. I wasn’t the only one sleepless and staring.

The staring returned this morning. I’m angry about the accident that cost his life months before he was to retire. I’m hurt for his family as they move on without him. I’m disappointed that I can’t call him to laugh about some of the stories we lived through and compare notes on how much being retired from The Job doesn’t suck.

But I’m also happy to have had the privilege to enjoy time with Fred. That’s the direction I hope the staring takes me today.

Things are better than they were three years ago. A lot of water has gone under the bridge. I’m stronger, healthier and smarter. I’ve even learned lessons because Freddy had to leave; I’d rather have stayed ignorant of those.

It is quiet today. I’ll take time to think about the stuff we saw and did. And about pulling each others bacon out of the fire on several occasions. And finding each other on SWAT calls and saying “I’ll see you when this is over”.

Life goes on, brother. It is good.

I’ll see you when this is over, but it’s gonna be a while.

Fortes Fortuna Juvat.

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Three Years Later

Three years ago today was a Friday. I’d slipped out-of-town for an over night visit with my son. By the time I arrived, Fred had passed away back home.

Despite a heroic effort to contact me, I didn’t know we’d lost him until I read the news the next morning. I remember staring a lot that day. There were other things, but mostly there was staring.

That Saturday night, back home in bed, I was still staring. I published what I felt that night, and then went to work at 4:30 a.m. Sunday on no sleep. I wasn’t the only one sleepless and staring.

The staring returned this morning. I’m angry about the accident that cost his life months before he was to retire. I’m hurt for his family as they move on without him. I’m disappointed that I can’t call him to laugh about some of the stories we lived through and compare notes on how much being retired from The Job doesn’t suck. Read the rest of this entry »


Five Routine Minutes: A Texting Problem

Last week, I found myself on the horns of a texting dilemma. I didn’t even know text messaging had horns.

It all started when my employer issued me a new cell phone.

Sadly, they did not arrange to transfer all my stored numbers to the new phone. I’ve remedied that gradually by storing numbers as my co-workers call me. This gradual method is the cause of my problem.

After work, I got a text message from a person who works for me. I know that much because of the way they addressed me. This person wanted me to know that they’d had a death in their family. The message told me how sad their family was at the loss and that they’d just learned of the passing of their loved one.

I felt terrible for them.

Read the rest of this entry »


Tonight, You’re Someone.

When I was new in the career that I am now an old man in, I worked for an old man who watched over me and my peers. He knew we knew a lot less than we thought we did and it was his job to fill in the holes in our knowledge.

Sometimes he told us what we needed to know in a meeting. There were times he’d see that my ego was ahead of my ability and he’d correct that pretty directly – it didn’t matter who was there to hear it.

And then there were times when he would do things and none of us knew what he was thinking.

Early One Morning

I’d been working for a few months and went on a call at a house I knew was used for gambling. An anonymous caller said that an elderly man was unconscious on the front porch. This was not an unusual occurrence at this location, they’d toss drunks out all the time. This time, it was unusual.

He was dead. Read the rest of this entry »


Misplaced grief, part two

Its been a week since I’ve had a chance to blurt out anything new.  Had a chance to spend the weekend out of town with great friends, so work had to be all consuming in the days leasing up to my escape. Thanks for sticking with me!

In February, I wrote about people putting stickers on their cars that said they were “In memory of…” someone who was apparently significant to the person who owned the car.

A few months ago I ran into what had to be the ultimate in misplaced grief. This is worse than any “In memory of…” sticker plastered on the back of some pizza delivery guy’s Kia. Read the rest of this entry »


I think he’s dead, lets go buy a sticker

I don’t know if anyone else is seeing this where they are, but in my part of the world I see more and more cars with stickers on them commemorating the life or death of people who apparently were significant to the cars owner.

Everyone goes through loss in their own way, but come on, is this really the way folks want to be commemorated? Read the rest of this entry »