I came home this afternoon to find out that one of my closest childhood friends has passed away. I don’t know how, or if it was expected, but the funeral is tomorrow.
This really sucks. A part of me doesn’t feel a right to be sad, as I really haven’t spoken to him since we were in our early twenties. In fact, for several years he was living only a few hours drive from me and not once did I make an effort to get back in touch.
Growing up, he was my cousin. I called his parents aunt and uncle. We weren’t blood related, but our families were so close that we considered ourselves family.
I don’t think that ever changed, emotionally, as we grew older into adults. I always heard updates on how he was doing, what kind of man he had turned into, and I liked being in the loop.
Now that he’s gone, I think about the times I spent weekends at his home in Transcona. Back then, you’d *never* call Transcona Winnipeg! He was there for me when I had cancer, when I went through treatments, when there was a good chance that I was going to die. I remember as children playing Robin Hood with him, his support when my dad left, our arguments over whether the Commodore 64 was better than an Apple Computer (I was in the former camp), and his parents letting me watch An American Werewolf in London far before I was ready to see it. I remember the sleepovers, when he gave me his Death Star because he wasn’t as into Star Wars as I was, and the first time we launched our Evel Knievel motorbike down the stairs.
As teenagers, we lost touch and went our separate ways. As grown men, we only kept in touch through our parents. It’s amazing how empty a person can feel knowing that, well, I guess I won’t send him that email tomorrow just to say hello.
Sometimes tomorrow never comes. Today was one of those days.