This One Was Tough

30 Jun

Being a parent has taught me to view events from a completely different perspective then I ever did before. Today I was faced with some tragic news, a high school friend had passed over the weekend. While we weren’t the closest of friends, we were friends nonetheless and I’d like to think he’d agree. I can’t begin to imagine what he had to go through over the past month that drove him to this point, and while I often thought of reaching out to him I never did, mostly because we hadn’t really talked in the past few years… What an awful excuse.
Beyond the loss though I feel a deeper pain. Again, parenting had broadened my lens, and now I am not only heartbroken for his close friends. No it is his parents that keep popping into my mind. Because when faced with a stark reality, with the fact that a son was lost, I cannot fathom how I would react if I lost Nolan.
I’ve lost friends before, some closer than others, but all hurt. I lost a very close friend right after high school, someone who I golfed with all through school and who knew sports inside and out. I still find myself wishing I could text him when I see some sports oddity. But for whatever reason this one hurts more and I am admittedly one of the most removed people from the tragedy. I keep looking into the backseat at the little turd of a boy who is growing up and relying on me and the Mrs entirely… When you pour your heart into something for just a couple of years and feel like I do, how do you accept the loss after 25+ years? I pray for those who were closest.
I told one of my best friends that I loved him today as we signed off of our phone conversation. We’d been discussing our lost friend, and he had made a point about not waiting to say something because the chance may not come again. They are wise words, something easily taken for granted.
Don’t be afraid to love those who matter in your life, and definitely do not be afraid to tell them how you feel. And as a man and Dad, don’t be ashamed to show that emotion around your child(ren). It is important for all of us to know that we have support — maybe from the most unlikely sources — in this crazy race we run.
This loss stings, but it will help me hold my son a little tighter tonight. I mourn for anyone who cannot do the same.

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