and I never even knew…

In Blog by Adron5 Comments

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.

Comments

  1. That’s got to be a strange feeling. It’s odd because as you wrote about that, I was writing about re-connecting with old friends and how odd that is. I guess it’s all part of life, wierdness and all.

    Posted by Kristal on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 – 8:38 AM

  2. wow – sorry about the news. 🙁

    Posted by Katie on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 – 8:38 AM

  3. damn. John was a good guy. i sat next to him for three years in band. good drummer. that sucks.

    Posted by Trav on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 – 7:44 PM

  4. Wow… that’s crazy. The first time I heard of a classmate dying was in the first year of high school. He was my classmate for 8 years of elementary and on his first day at High School, he got shot by some gang rivalry action that was going on outside. It really affects you, even if you didn’t really know KNOW them… because we’d all like to believe… we’re immortal.

    My prayers go out to him and his family… and I hope you enjoy and appreciate the reunion!

    I guess mine is coming up too… Class ‘o’ 96.

    Posted by mrs. conSKEEted on Saturday, June 03, 2006 – 12:47 PM

  5. Hey~ I just saw this and thought I would let you know that we will be taking donations for John’s wife and daughter at the reunion. He had been batteling for several years, and was doing quite well for a while. The fight was lost rather quickly, but he was in very good spirits. It was a sad time for all of us who knew him, and it’s kind of hard to get that kind of info around to everyone.

    I hear your buisy this weekend, but I think we’ve pulled things together for the reunion ~ if things change we’d love to see the two of you! Hope things are going well!

    Posted by ~Mindy~ on Monday, August 14, 2006 – 11:56 AM

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