Death is part of life. It is inevitable. We take our first step toward it with our first breath immediately after we’re born. Nobody looks forward to it. Nobody escapes it. Some fear it. Some welcome it. Some just don’t think about it. Some wait for it.

One of my best friends from high school just lost her big brother to cancer this morning. He was 45 years old. He had flu-like symptoms a year ago and then about 6 months ago was diagnosed with cancer. He had several treatments and operations. But eventually, it was just his time to go. I never knew him well. What I did know of him, I always liked. He was smart and handsome and extremely funny. He and his sister were close; the kind of siblings who could look at one another and say, “Do you remember when I went to the…” and the other would say, “and then you pulled on the….” and crack up laughing at a mutual memory without ever actually saying what it was they were remembering. They had a lot of these moments.

When my father retired from the Army and moved the rest of our family from Maryland to Texas, my sister and I stayed behind. We had an apartment in Laurel about a mile from my friend’s house. My sister and I worked several jobs to pay bills while going to school part-time. We rarely saw each other. And when the apartment got too quiet and I missed the hullabaloo that only life in a large family can bring, I would go to visit them and listen as I ate spaghetti at the kitchen table while they joked and laughed and their mom raised hell about the youngest turning off the kitchen faucet and how the pipes would burst since it was snowing outside and my friend and I would crack up while her older brother was mimicking her behind her back. He always made us laugh.

And as close as my brother and I are, I think that she and her brother were closer. I rarely get to see my brother or talk to him. She spoke to her brother nearly every day. I am certain that she and her siblings and mother and his daughter are all devastated that he is gone. I am so grateful that they got to spend his last days together laughing and loving one another and saying their goodbyes. We, the friends, stand on the outer circle looking in to them; waiting patiently for them to need us for support. We await their need of hugs and tears and help in any form. Because that’s what we must do. We are there for them as an extension of their family. And now that their time of being strong for him and supporting him is done, they will definitely need us to be strong for them and support them.

God please bless this family with patience and strength during their time of mourning.

2 thoughts on “A Sad Day

  1. Love this story, but so sad. Feel badly for your friend. ugh. We lost our older brother to a massive heart attack in 2005. Dead before he hit the ground. He has just gotten back from a month long trip. When he returned he emailed us, “lots to tell you! going camping this weekend. will write more next week.” ugh. thank GOD I believe in closure. I called him and told him I loved him and couldn't wait to hear more. there is nothing more important than family and good friends. I'm so glad you wrote about this. xoxo Marianne


  2. I love that you took the time to write this and share some memories with others who knew LaRonda & Dink. It is definetly our time to rally around them as they rallied around Dink during this very long emotional year. The are an inspiration to others of what a closeknit loving family should be. Are they The Cleavers? No, but they sure as heck are a modern day version of a blended family with unconditional love for one another. I always say although I didnt grow up with alot of material posssessions I was blessed with much, much more. I had a Mom & Dad who loved me even when i didnt love myself and 3 brothers, a sister and step brother (who was like blood to me). We had family dinner together every Sunday and when friends came over to join us, they always said they could feel an abundance of love & family support in the air. Even when we had spats (and as Italians we definetly had our share) we still never went home without a hug, a kiss and an “i love you” spoken. I lost my Mom to her 4th bout with cancer in 2000 and my Dad to Alzheimers in 2009. I also lost my brother, Jon, in 1982, my step brother, Skip, in 2003 and another brother, Tony, in 2008. To say i can sympathize with what LaRonda and her family are going thru is putting it mildly & it breaks my heart. All i can do is offer a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen and a little advice if asked. Other than that I will continue to pray for them as I have since Dink was diagnosed. Thank you again for this wonderful blog. It's a beautiful selfless act and we could use alot more of those in this world. Peace and Love to All, Cara


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