Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment. This week, I chose the following prompt: In the book I’m reading,Girls of Tender Age,the main character is deeply affected by the murder of a childhood friend. Describe a tragedy you didn’t expect to be as deeply affect by as you are.

I may have mentioned this on my blog before ... This next year, it'll be 25 years ... 25 years since Brian died of liver cancer. It was our 8th grade graduation ... we were celebrating our assent to "adult-hood." Next year, we'd be high school freshman! Nothing could stop us. After the graduation ceremony, a bunch of us and our parents went to the Erin Pub. It was fitting - we were all good friends who played soccer, baseball, and basketball together.

Brian wasn't feeling good that day. I later found out that he hadn't felt good for months. My cousin Drew even said that he felt Brian's stomach the one day, and it felt hard. Brian only ate half of his sandwich. I didn't think much of it. I had to get ready for our 8th grade graduation dance later that night.

Brian would never make it there. His mom took him to the hospital later that day. We didn't know the story at the time, so we joked that he must've gotten mono from kissing a girl. Boy, do I wish it was only that. By the end of the weekend, we all knew - Brian had liver cancer. How could this be? He was one of the most athletically gifted kids in our school. His infectious laugh made everybody smile. I don't think the kid ever had an enemy.

Brian was a fighter, and he didn't go without an epic battle. It took three liver transplants in a 3-month span to finally silence his laugh. I'll never forget seeing him in the coffin, with his gray suit. I silently urged him to get up and out of the coffin so we could play baseball together one more time ... But that never happened. I remember hearing Billy Joel's "Piano Man" that day, and everytime I hear it now, it reminds me of him and that excruciatingly somber day.

I can't believe it's going to be 25 years ....

9 comments:

Melva said...

That's so sad....It still affects you all these years...nice to share-I always think when a young person dies if it somehow makes the others realize they aren't invincible.....they seem to think they are.

Steph said...

That's horrible. I hate when good people have to die way too young.

Sandi said...

Ok--I'm in tears.

paige said...

Wow, that's a really sobering thing at any age, but especially as a kid. How terrible. :(

El Padrino said...

terrible

-B- said...

That's so sad, Karl. It wasn't until my Father's passing that I thought about my own mortality. Let's live it up while we're here everyone - then we'll all meet up in the Afterlife for that big party!

Dawn said...

I'm here cuz Mama Kat said you had one of her faves from last week...

well, guess I needed a good cry cuz that's what I'm doing.
My brother died 25 years ago this year and it's still a tragedy for us.
And your post made me think of a courageous young man who died our junior year of high school... he had cystic fibrosis and his mom was told he'd never make it to 10. He died at 17, not from CF, but from a drunk driver.
Sometimes things just don't make sense... Now that I'm smiling thinking of Stevie I'm glad I stopped by and got to spend a few minutes remembering a boy who was a true friend to me when I needed one.
Thanks.

Amy said...

Thank you for sharing this with us... sometimes we all need to take a long hard look at the "problems" we are facing and think about all of the people out there who are fighting the really hard battles like Brian did and like his family did - and probably still are fighting. I am so sorry for your loss...

singedwingangel said...

My son lost a classmate and her sister to a housefire. When they did graduation they left an empty chair for her with the shirt and a poem and song. I wept like a baby at a young life gone too soon...