Friday, September 8, 2017

RIP H.C.: an Unexpected, Devastating Curveball

In my last post I wrote: 

We don't have the same tastes in food, for example, and when I want to go to a new restaurant and do "foodie" stuff, I have a buddy I go with and we have a great time.

My "foodie" friend died, tragically, yesterday morning, after a brief battle with cancer. He was in the hospital recovering from surgery to remove the cancerous parts that were left after chemo and radiation. He told me just the other day that he was feeling very optimistic about being released soon, and had gotten up out of bed for the first time and walked that same day.

But his wife posted on Facebook three days ago that he'd had a particularly rough weekend, so I was worried, and then came the news yesterday, with DW's phone call to me in the car, around dinnertime. A complication from surgery, she said, not the cancer itself. All I could think of was his wife and their child, who was just in third grade.  He was so young and such a devoted father to that kid; I can't imagine what his family is going through right now.

Life is so precious, and so brief. We think someone who dies at a ripe old age has lived a long time. It's a fucking blip, to be honest, no matter how long we're on this earth. I experience it every time I look at my kids and notice how much they've grown since the last time I looked at them. I remember holding them when they were born, and I could hold them with their feet in the crook of my elbow and their heads in the palm of my hand. Like a little squirming football.  And now my older kid is half a head taller than DW and just a few inches shorter than I am.  The "little" one will be taller than DW next year.

H.C. and I were looking forward to getting back to our semi-regular restaurant crawl, checking out new places, or turning each other onto old places we'd been to before. It wasn't necessarily high-end culinary experiences; one place was just a great burger joint and bar. They were just places with memorable food and drink, where we could sit and shoot the shit about our wives, our kids, politics, books, cooking, and getting older. Unfortunately, H.C. won't be getting older anymore, and that's just wrong.

So I'm just a little stunned, a little numb, and very, very sad today. 

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