A high school classmate of mine died early Saturday morning. I found out on Facebook, first as someone asked how he died, then as the sad details followed: hit a deer on his motorcycle, found in the road by state troopers, left a daughter who had lost her mother to a heart attack four years earlier.
Tributes rolled in and I had nothing to add. He and I were classmates, nothing more and maybe a little less. I thought he turned into a jerk in junior high, and sometime in high school he took an active dislike to me, though if I knew why then I’ve forgotten. Lurking was the only polite response.
Who’s to say time wouldn’t have mellowed things? I certainly wouldn’t want to be judged now by who I was at 17.
I did start to wonder, though, how many other classmates we might have lost. Soon, another post showed up paying tribute to others, and names were added to the list.
I was sad and grateful to be able to add a name I didn’t see, from a different circle of friends, I guess. More names followed, and I pulled my yearbook off the shelf.
To the gentleman who died this weekend, I wish his family and friends peace.
And to Charles “Rock Star” Begley, you are remembered. I’m sorry you didn’t get more of a crack at your dreams, and I hope St. Peter presented you with a fine instrument when you hit those pearly gates.
Next year’s informal reunion, the third so far but the first I planned to attend, looms more important now.