I’ve been friends with a couple of guys for 20 years now (since it’s 2016, officially). They’ve been best friends since long before I met them. Tonight, I got a call from one of them, confirming my worst fear – the other one is now officially in hospice, and is sinking fast, leaving behind a wife and young daughter. The phrase “too soon” is an understatement.
Those of you that have known me for any length of time will probably recall a time when there has been a stripping clown. This guy is the reason. Most of my memories of him involve me laughing to the point where inhaling air HURT. He is responsible for my antitheist preference for “I acknowledge your sneeze without further comment” over “Bless you.”
I have a “trophy shelf” in my office. On it are many mementos, such as the doorbell from my Grandma Tonne’s house (one of my earliest memories). On it also are at LEAST 3 items from when he and I worked together, not the least of which is a “mulimedia etch-a-sketch”. (The two others I can think of without going up there are “Catbert” and “Birdbert”…)
For the first time since he got sick, he wants visitors. For that reason alone, I fear that it will not be long before he is taken from us forever. I asked G to join us for the visit – and she, being the kind soul that she has always been, said, and I quote:
I want to go see him anyway. If you told me you were going I would probably ask to come.
My daughter, ladies and gentlemen. Even as my heart is breaking, it swells with pride. I’m trying to brace myself to be brave, and funny, and touching without being maudlin. In the meantime, I’m going to watch some Marx Brothers films to lamely attempt to cheer myself up.