It is always sad to lose someone, but especially during the holidays. Right around Christmas my friend, Kathy, who I visited with in Cape Cod this summer, lost her sister. Maureen, to cancer. Her sister lived in Peoria where we grew up. She was diagnosed and several weeks later lost her life. I guess it is comforting to know that Maureen didn't suffer.
Right after I returned home this week, a long time school friend and friend of the family died. He went to school with my brother and had been ill for awhile. He suffered a stroke and had many complications after that. He was only in his mid-50's. Doug was a fire batallion chief with the Peoria fire department. Today, after his funeral there will be a long processional of firemen that worked under him and others around the area. A great tribute to a great young man.
And, then, a few days ago another friend passed away here in Athens -- only 58 years old. His daughter was Alan's first girlfriend in high school and they have remained close. We visited with his daughter who now lives in NYC when we were there for the US Open. It was such a shame to lose him -- he was very prominent in the UGA music department and his accomplishments outside of teaching were enormous.
I'm much more emotional now than I used to be and these have hit me hard -- perhaps because they were all around my age -- you just never know. Rest in peace my friends.