Another Peer Will Be Missed

I guess it’s bound to happen more frequently the older a person gets. I found out last night that a friend of mine from high school Nate Blackburn passed away earlier this week. I was not terribly close with Nate, in fact I probably hadn’t seen or spoken with him since he graduated from high school about 14 years ago, but we hung out with the same group of people from band class. I’ll always have something to remember him by, though. At a common friend’s graduation open house, we all started goofing off by the pool and soon people were getting thrown in fully clothed. Nate started to go after me but I didn’t want to have any part of it. So I took off running and he followed. Now you have to understand he was into gymnastics so he was quite muscular and in much better shape than I. Knowing this, I ran just as fast as I my legs could carry me. He chased me through a neighbor’s yard where my clumsiness got the best of me and I lost my balance while zig-zagging to try to shake him. I tumbled forward, landed on my shoulder and broke my collar bone. In hindsight, I guess it would have been better to have just jumped in the pool. :PThat was about the last time I saw him until tonight at the viewing at a local funeral home. The funeral is scheduled for Friday morning. I was quite impressed by how many people were at the viewing to express their sympathy for Nate’s family. A few high school friends who still live in the area (Andy Ciupak, Matt Pulliam, Bruce Spike) were there as was Jennifer Herbst who flew in from Pennsylvania. We went to a nearby pub afterward to catch up since most of us haven’t seen each other in quite some time. Though admittedly under very unfortunate circumstances, it was really good to see them all again. High school reunions are focused on graduating classes, whereas my band friends covered the 3 years before and after my own graduating class. I don’t know if I would have ever met back up with Andy or Matt if not for tonight.A few years ago, most of my friends were getting married. Now many of them are having babies (11 couples we know are having a kid this year). Until this past October the only funerals I had attended were for grandparents and great grandparents. I certainly hope this trend doesn’t continue until I’m much older. It does make me think long and hard about my own life. I often take for granted just how good I have it. It’s events like these that make me realize that there are no guarantees in life. Life is not always peaches and cream, there’s no promise that it’ll be long, and when something bad happens it will rarely seem fair. Carpe diem.

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