I can’t help reflecting on some acquaintances who departed this life way too early.
Here are ten from my life.
- Carp: He was the heart of my high school newspaper staff, the cutup with a heart of gold. He had health issues, though, and a few years after our graduation, he suffered a rare and months-long decline that completely changed his personality.
- Orpha: Something similar happened to this Mennonite-Amish young nurse who came to Baltimore from Lancaster County.
- Cynthia: The wife of one of my best friends, she was a victim of cancer. I don’t think she was yet 40.
- Charles: My best friend ever, we knew each other during my three years in Baltimore and then went separate directions. I still don’t want to know what really happened in that hotel room, but I do wish I could have eased his pain.
- Bill: He had come through some difficult years and then found and married the love of his life. Unfortunately, he came down with a rare infection. We grieve especially for his widow. Life can be so unfair.
- Jean: She was a year older than me but definite proof of vitality in your sixties. I expected another ten good years of faithful service from her in our teamwork, but then a virulent cancer kicked in and moved quickly.
- Cissy: She had just retired, was delighting in her volunteer work at the local theater, but then she had a hard fall at home. She was always in motion when she worked with us.
- Larry: He knew how to command a room and then lead. Photojournalism powerhouse up almost until the heart attack.
- Swami: No warning. The ashram didn’t last long without her.
- My Grandfather Munroe: Three years before my birth, while giving a toast over dinner, he had a heart attack and died on the table. He was in his early forties and would have definitely had a big positive impact on my childhood had he lived.