I can't remember how old he was. My friend told me last week but I can't recall his age today. Maybe it's because when she told me the battle he was suddenly facing, my first thought was He's too young.
I only met him one time. When I first got out of my car at her mother's house, he said they were expecting me and he let me in the house. I thought he was her mother's yard man. Turns out I was only a little correct. He did do that, voluntarily driving a hour there and back each week to take care of his mother-in-law's yard needs. But he was my friend's sister's husband. He was the father of two young and beautiful daughters, two bright handfuls of curls and questions and energy, of life. He was a son, a brother, a son-in-law, an uncle, someone's friend, someone's buddy. He was a husband and a father.
Early this morning, he passed away.
Two months ago, my friend and her mother joined her sister and husband and daughters on a vacation in San Diego. He was tired, they told me. He had complained that his back was hurting.
There was the doctor's visit when they returned home. Then the devastating news of Stage IV Sarcoma. I remember my friend saying over the phone, There is no stage five.
This life holds its secrets like a sea shell holds the sea,
soft and distant calling like a fading memory
This life has its victories but its defeats tear so viciously
Cowboy Junkies ~ This Street, That Man, This Life