When you get to be my age, losing people becomes a part of life. For me, it started early with the murder of my brother Frank when I was just 16, and it wasn’t much longer before Vietnam claimed quite a few of my friends. Both of my parents passed on when I was in my 30s, and the last two of my seven siblings a few years later.
Since then I have continued to lose people I care about, both family and friends, seemingly more with each passing year. On Sunday I received word that my friend Hal Reynolds died from coronavirus complications. He was the second friend I have lost to this terrible disease. Then, last night I got a message that Ray Pitzen, one of my friends from my teenage years died from heart problems. Ray was part of a small group of us who hung out together, five of us who worked on our junker cars, chased girls, and generally got into mischief.
Joe died in a motorcycle crash while he was in the Navy, we lost Dan to cancer a few years ago, and now Ray is gone too. I am glad we made it a point to stop and visit with the fifth Musketeer, Gary Chandler, while we were in Ohio last year. I plan to make that happen again once this virus thing clears up and life gets back to normal.
Ray’s sister Rachel was my on again – off again girlfriend, and some folks thought there would be wedding bells in our future, however that was not to be. But I share her and her two remaining brothers’ grief at his loss.
Meanwhile, my cousin Bob Saxton is in a coma, on a ventilator from the virus, and his wife told me yesterday the doctor wasn’t optimistic about his chances. I know there’s a lot of gloom and doom in this blog post, and I apologize. But right now, I feel pretty gloomy. Please take care of yourselves, folks. Stay isolated and take the precautions that will help all of us stop the spread of the virus and survive. Because I can’t afford to lose anyone else.
Thought For The Day – In the garden of memory, in the palace of dreams… that is where you and I shall meet again. – Lewis Carrol