Monday, March 4, 2013

Once Again I Lose Someone Close

When I wrote my book “Fishing, Ghosts, and My Mother’s Gray Hair” there are several places where I mention my friend Dave who lives in Missouri. He’s mentioned as my childhood best friend in the introduction, and several times throughout the remaining chapters.

When I moved from Florida in 1963 I lost track of Dave and it took me almost 40 years to find him again. When I went back to Florida in the summer of 1999 I did my damnedest to find him, but it was not until I worked for a company and had access to a certain database that I was able to find him somewhere around 2005/2006. 

In the few years since, I’ve not been able to get back to Missouri nor was Dave able to get to California, but we kept in touch via email and phone. 

On February 5th, Dave’s 67th birthday I called as I usually did and wished him Happy Birthday. He sounded somewhat subdued and not his normal self, but I didn’t make a big deal of it figuring he was just having a bad day. 

Little did I know how bad a day he was really having until I got “the” call on the 11th from his son telling me that Dave had passed away. Dave’s son told me what had happened, but I was in such shock that I really didn’t listen and told him I’d call the next day. 

I did call and called for several more days trying to find information about memorials and such, but it wasn’t until I got a call a little over a week ago from a mutual friend that we grew up with that I found out what happened. 

Seems Dave drove his lifelong companion Peggy to work and when he got home, literally fell out of the car and couldn’t move. What we found out later was, Dave had a bleeding ulcer that he didn’t take care of (because he couldn’t get an appointment with the VA doctors until “later”), threw a blood clot that ended up in his leg (my guess was it also caused a stroke), and because of the ulcer had a bacterial infection that couldn’t be reversed, all because he couldn’t get an appointment with the VA doctors until “later”. 

With losing my brother in December and now losing Dave (remember he was only 6 months older than I am) on the 11th of February I was in a state of, “shock” is not the word, I think the phrase is “what next or who next” or what the hell.  That’s why it’s taken me almost a month to put this post out there.

Those of us that are older realize that we are no longer indestructible and bullet proof. When you are younger like a lot of you are, all you want to do is live life to the fullest, but when you get to that age and I’m not sure just what the number is, you realize time is no longer on your side. 

I’ve always lived on the premise that when it’s your time, they will turn your clock off and it’s over. Whoever “they” are, I have no idea. I don’t want to get into religious beliefs because mine are probably a whole lot different than most, if not all, of yours. Dave’s time was February 11, 2013 as was my brothers on December 21, 2012.

In all aspects Dave was my brother. We grew up together, went to school together, got in trouble together, and chased girls together.  We fought, hated each other, became friends again, and when we finally found each other it was just like old times. 

I’ll miss you Dave. 

Rest in peace, my brother


  1. Well said Mark and my sincere condolences. Yeah, the clock is ticking but like you, know that my time is coming...hopefully later rather than sooner. I found a high school classmates name in the obits yesterday and it shakes you up.

  2. My sincere condolences, Mark. Thanks for sharing the pain.

  3. Mark
    For those of us who have been blessed to go through life with a friend who is like a brother is special. You have my sincere condolences for your lose of Dave. My best friend is still with me here in Jasper, and yes he is like a brother to me as Dave was to you----------looking forward to seeing you Saturday

  4. Damn, that just sucks, Mark. As if this whole existence wasn't tenuous enough to be reminded about it so soon after another loss is awful. I hope you find peace in time.

  5. Mark, my thought are with you during this difficult time in your life. Taking 'em back to back is troublesome. Hope that better days and some good fishing will help your recovery time.

  6. I'm very sorry or your loss Mark.

  7. My condolences. But at least you were able to reconnect after all those years.

  8. My thoughts,& prayers friend,know the fealing just lost a long time Veteran friend last week,I guess when your time is up,it's up,& no 1 knows why.

  9. Sorry for your loss Mark.

  10. Sorry for your loss, Mark. You were both priveleged to have had the relationship you did. You have a few years on me - I just turned 53 over the weekend - but it seems like there is more pertinent news for me in the Obits than the news section of the paper these days.

  11. the older i get the more ive come to understand that people can be taken from us at any time.

    sorry for the loss