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January 24th, 2005

Pondering Death

As you all know by now, Johnny Carson died this weekend. I suppose I am getting old b/c when I mentioned this in the EQII zone I was in last night someone actually responded with, "Really? Who is he?" I bet if I'd of said "Ashlee Simpson just died" they would've known who I was talking about. -sigh- Such is the world we live in - we'll never understand the generations that follow us. I'm sad to see him go - we have definitely lost a legend.

Before I heard about Carson's death, my best friend called from his parents' home. This in itself was odd, so I knew something must be up. Nodnarb and I have been best friends for 20-something years. We went to Kindergarten together and graduated high school together - we worked our main high school job together, took Driver's Ed together, and were each other's dates for both Junior and Senior homecoming dances and proms. In a few short days, all by chance, he is going to be my neighbor. Our lives always, invariably, end up intertwining. So when I saw he was calling from his hometown I knew it had to be some interesting gossip or tidbit about someone we once knew in our younger years. Sadly, he told me that he'd just found a newspaper clipping on the fridge that told of the death of one of our classmates; one that had graduated with us and had been with us, before that, since 2nd grade. He died in a large car accident in another state - having moved and started a family there a few years ago.

I've often commented how lucky we were that no one in our graduating class of 65 had died. I know that isn't the norm - everyone I know has someone they graduated with that didn't make it very far into their adult years. It's sad to think that he died the year we would've been having our 10 year reunion. The whole thing is sad - he'd been married around five years and had a 6 mos. old son; when he died he was delivering Bibles and Christian publications. He was, as I remember him, completely sweet and very funny - a genuinely all-around good guy. As the article I found on his death said he hadn't changed much in the past ten years. One person commented that he was like "a ray of sunshine" when he walked in the room, that he made everyone smile.

It's a strange thing when someone your age dies; especially when you once knew that person. It makes you wake up and remember that Death is never that far from any of us - that any day it could come. It makes me more appreciative of the time I have with those still here - more conscious of enjoying every minute that I've got left.

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