From MySpace blog: Monday, May 29, 2006
This morning, I wondered when I would hear about my class reunion. It’s been ten years, and I figured it had to happen soon. I’m not really interested in going, but that doesn’t mean I’m not curious.
So, as coincidences go, I check my email this evening, and I’ve got a message from a Liz Lunk, which totally looks like a spam email to me, a name I don’t know. But the subject line was ‘class of 96 reunion coming soon’, and I realize it’s my old classmate Liz Hoffman (apparently now Lunk).
I open it, expecting the full rundown on the reunion. Instead, the first part of the email, in rather casual verbage, informed me that my classmate John Law passed away this weekend, after losing a battle with leukemia. I never even knew he had this ailment until today.
I’d known John since the third grade. We lived a few blocks apart, hung out on the playground sometimes. The first drummer in my very first band bought his drumset from John. He was a short fellow, maybe all of 5’3″, with sandy blond hair and big eyes. He had a somewhat defensive attitude at times, probably as a consequence of his small stature, but was otherwise a nice, pretty good guy.
I doubt I’ve had more than a handful of conversations with him since junior high. Haven’t seen him since graduation. Probably haven’t really thought about him much since. It’s such a shame that the first thing I hear of him in ten years is that he’s gone.
The email went on to say that we’ll have details on a reunion sometime soon, that the class doesn’t have much money but hopefully they’ll scrounge up enough to throw a good party.
I hope they leave an extra place setting.
And now that his pain is over, I hope that, wherever John is on his journey, it’s better than what he had here.
* * *
A week after I wrote the above entry, I received John’s obituary in the mail from my mother. It gave a few details about his life since high school. Talked about the east coast-based donor who had been paired with John some years back and helped him survive some very tough times. How they had stayed in contact and become friends. How the donor and his wife had traveled to the midwest to be there with John as he left this world. About the wife of only a year that survived him, how they’d been together thoughout his illness, how she had married him, knowing his days were likely to be limited.
I read this, and I cried and cried. Like I hadn’t since Stacy lost the twins. For John, and for the strong and incredibly loving people who stood by him. And I remembered to feel lucky, and to be grateful.