We know this. We've heard it, seen it, in some cases even experienced it firsthand. And yet sometimes we still take it for granted. Until it hits painfully close to home.
I lost a friend this week. One of those, grew up with you, could go months, years without seeing you but still fall into the same happy rhythm when you do see them kind of friends. There are very few of my childhood memories that he was not a part of. He worked for my father for several years and took a typical big brother role of me and my brother-teasing, protective. And I think he always saw me as a little kid-once when I was about oh, 25, he started to tell me I was too young to have a drink before he caught himself and realized that I was an adult now too. :) And he was a complete and utter character. There are about 1,000 stories I could tell and they are all hilarious.
He was 34 and was genuinely one of the happiest people I've ever known. And he died from choking on his lunch. Doesn't that seem ludicrous? So senseless and so sad. He left behind a little girl, his parents and, from the looks of the line at the funeral home Sunday night, countless friends. I consider myself lucky to be one of them. And everyone I talked to at the funeral home or spoke to elsewhere that knew him said the same thing I did-he was always so happy. Always laughing, smiling, cutting up. I honestly don't think I ever saw him or spoke to him when he didn't make me smile, or, more likely, laugh hysterically.
And isn't that a beautiful legacy to leave? The more I've thought about it, and that's been a lot over the last few days, the more I hope I am blessed enough that people would say the same of me. That I was always happy, always smiling. That when they think of me they think of how happy I made them, how I gave them the gift of laughter, of a smile, of support and love, of joy in the small things, of fun and friendship. That the stories they tell are all about crazy adventures, funny incidents and none of sad times or wrongs done.
Sitting here now I wish I could write this better. That I could better express the feelings that have been swirling around inside me since I heard the news. I wish I could understand the whys and answer all the what ifs. But I can't. No one can. I can simply say Curt, you will be missed. By me. By so many others. And that the legacy of love of life and of laughter that you left is an example to all of us to live life everyday to the absolute fullest. Like you did.