I sometimes am asked why I write these musings. There are various reasons based on the subject matter. One of those reasons is that in writing the musing it becomes a catharsis for me. It is what allows me to gather my emotions and collect my senses when the news is not good news. And so it is with this musing.
You see, a dear, long-time friend and classmate, John David aka JD, passed away yesterday from a massive heart attack. The Wheel of Lousy Fortune was spun and John hit Loss of Life. Typically hearing about someone’s death is remote and removed, eliciting little emotion. It is only when the death is of a family member or close friend that the loss hit home. And John’s death hit home.
John and I went back decades to our days in Jr. High (now middle school) in the late 1940s. We belonged to the same church which meant our friendship carried over to church groups and camps. That John remained a friend for more than six decades says a lot about him. Oh, after high school John moved on with his life and career, just as I did. And yes, contact at times was only a few phone calls a year. But we had our annual Gatherings of about 12 -15 classmates who met annually at some interesting location in the Eastern third of the state. John was one of the people who initiated the Gatherings. John and his wife JoAnn were an integral part of those meetings.
School, church, annual meetings – John always was there as a friend. Now that comforting contact has ended. His passing once again reminds me, and I suspect my classmates, just how short our time here is and how precious every moment is. As I wrote several years ago with the passing of another classmate, “He was part of the more than one hundred fifty graduates in the Class of 1954, that strong wall of 1954. He was a classmate and one of the bricks in that wall. Time has crumbled a few of those bricks – and with John’s passing the wall is now one brick less strong.”