A guy I went to elementary school with passed away from cancer today. I hadn't seen or talked to him in over 20 years, but we had 65 people in our 8th grade graduating class, and most of us had been together since kindergarten or preschool, so we were all pretty close (whether we liked each other or not). With Facebook becoming more popular the past couple of years, most of us have reconnected, and I really enjoy that. I didn't have the smoothest of times during the junior high years, but that's been so long ago, and we've all changed. I've enjoyed getting to know these people as adults and parents, and am amazed how supportive everyone has been of Blaine these past 11 months.
Anyway, I don't have much experience with the death of my peers, and this is hitting me pretty hard. One other guy from our elementary school class died in a boating accident in 1994, and another one died in Austin a couple of years ago. The guy who died today, Blaine, just had such amazing faith and an unbelievable support system of family and friends. I don't think he ever married or had kids, and was an only child, and his parents were the ones to take care of him through his illness. Being a parent, I can't imagine having to go through the loss of a child, even at 35 years old.
I know I'll be hugging my kids extra-tightly today, and thinking about Blaine, and how his journey was a reminder of what is truly important in life. I won't be able to travel to Louisiana for the funeral, since my semester of nursing school classes starts tomorrow, and that's kind of disappointing, because I would have loved to see some of my old classmates. I didn't go to the same high school that most of them went to, and we don't have elementary school reunions, so I have no reason to ever see these people.
That's all for now...