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Sunday, February 13, 2011

"I'll Call You Tomorrow!"

How many times have we said that to friends and acquaintances and then forget to call them? On my part, I could no doubt say way too many times. Within the last several weeks, three male friends of mine have died: I had known one of them as a young adult and the other two since junior high school. One guy had started calling me back in the early fall of last year: He lived in Georgia. And he had beaten cancer over and over; he told me that more than anything, he wanted to come back home to Charleston. We talked, emailed each other and then in December of 2010, I didn’t hear a thing from him. Imagine the shock of learning about his death: I thought he was fine, health-wise. I’m still not over his death: It seems unbelievable. The last time I saw the other two guys, we were so excited to see each other: One guy, who died two weeks ago, was a dear friend with whom I had lost contact. However, a mutual friend had kept me informed about him and his declining health. The other guy was a closer friend and I saw him four years ago: Sat with him and his wife at the all-Stonewall Jackson High School reunion. It was so good to mull over remembrances from the past and the silly things that we did as teenagers and into adulthood. When we parted that night, I said, “I’ll call you tomorrow!” And I didn’t.

These men were special and special to family and friends. When I kept getting emails from high school friends about these men’s deaths, it was unsettling and yet understandable that my friends wanted to let me know.
And they wanted to reach out. And grieve.

We take life and our friends for granted: We just know that our lives will go on and our friends will always be there. But that is not the truth even though we want it to be. Instead, we shove it on the back burner and go on our merry way ignoring the truth. As I have gotten older, I realize that I am as guilty as everyone else in saying, “I’ll call you tomorrow!” I don’t follow through with my words. But starting today, I am changing: I am not going to wait till tomorrow but call today.
Rest in peace Bill Sturm, Tom Trimble and Mick McCoy.
You were more than special and since I can’t call you, I’ll keep your memories in my heart.

Sherry Hill

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