Friday, July 03, 2009

Friday morning

I took a vacation day. Combined with our holiday on Monday, that means I get a four day weekend. The week dragged by and yesterday seemed endless. I was really looking forward to an extra day off.

As usual, I woke just before dawn. It's one of those dubious perks of getting older. I wake up at about the same time regardless of the alarm clock. As I went into the bathroom, lights flashed through the bedroom window. It was probably just a thunderstorm out on the horizon, or so I thought.

When I looked out the window, there were three police cars and an ambulance in the street outside. I went out to the living room and opened the front door, only to see cops going in and out of a neighbor's house. This too is not unusual, as they've had domestic disputes before, and the police have had to sort them out.

The ambulance pulled away. I went back inside to turn on the scanner. Within a few minutes, the supervisor called for the medical examiner. I went to the bedroom to get dressed, then went outside to talk to the cops.

My neighbor Chuck was dead. His wife found him at 4:30 on the kitchen floor. He was overweight and a former smoker. He was on disability due to injuries from construction work. Chuck was a bit rough around the edges and clearly not an educated guy, but he deeply loved his wife and sons. That was readily apparent to anyone.

Back when Mary and I went through a rough patch just before Christmas a few years ago, Chuck and Kim simply gave us some cash to buy presents for the kids. Even now, if I think about it too much, it brings tears to my eyes. He was a generous, open-hearted guy and he will be greatly missed.

Later today the street will be jammed with cars as family and friends arrive. It's pretty full out there already. We'll probably be cooking like mad trying to feed people. Knowing Mary, she'll work too hard and too long trying to care for Kim and her family. I'll have to keep a careful eye on her to see that she gets some rest.

One last thought and I have to go. Hug your spouse (or significant other). Hug your kids. Tell them you love them. Because we never know when we'll get to say that just one last time.


Blogger Rantwick said...

Will do, man. Sounds like a really decent guy.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Steve A said...


3:15 PM  

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