Monday, May 2, 2022

Rest In Peace

When the first Play Group Dad died, it was an anomaly.  We were young, raising our growing families, but he'd always been a bit distant, close to reclusive, which, we found out after his passing was due to a long standing illness he chose to keep private.

We mourned.  We supported.  We wept.  People our age weren't supposed to be die.  We were stunned, with no real framework in which to set the circumstances.  Holding it as a one-off, we moved on.

But now Carey is dead.  

Carey, with whom we'd vacationed.  Carey, whose son played on most of Big Cuter's teams when they were young.  Carey, whose daughter and ours were the young hangers-on to Play Group.  Carey, whose kids went to school with ours, went to the Menomonee Club after school for sports and crafts and companionship together.  He could be counted on for carpooling in a pinch, for sharing a freezing sideline at a flag football game, for showing up.

The same could not be said for all the dads, whose presence was often greeted with a Look who's here!  Carey was there.  He was in our lives.  Now he is not. I'm having a hard time getting my head around his absence.  

He'd been ill earlier in life, while the kids were young but not babies.  He survived the treatment, wore hats and sunscreen everywhere, and carried on with the business of medicine and parenting and marriage and managing the household.   

Then, he got sick again....much sicker....with much less hope than before.  I sent letters as he battled, but I'd sent letters before that.  My words of solace and encouragement didn't have much impact on the outcome.  He was brave and fought valiantly but to no avail.  He's been gone since February.  I got the letter from his wife today.

She and I power walked the Chicago Lakefront for years - she taking off fast, me taking some time to warm up but then matching her stride for stride.  Long walks and long talks with a smart and loyal friend do a lot to shore up the down sides of life.  I know she was that for me.  I hope I was able to return the favor.  

And now, there is more consoling and mourning and sorrow..... so much sorrow.  

Because it's not an anomaly any more.  This is what the future will hold.  We knew that.  We just didn't know that.  

There's a hole in the world where Carey used to stand, short and snarky and helpful, smiling and enjoying the chaos surrounding him, getting knocked down and climbing right back up, maybe not asking for help as much as he could have but knowing that those around him admired and respected his work ethic, his love of family, his devotion to his friends. 

Olav HaShalom.  May peace be upon him.  His time of suffering on this earth has ended, and for that, we are grateful.

But he's not here any more, and that sucks.


  1. My condolences to all who feel his loss.

  2. I am sorry for the loss of your friend. It is hard to lose those that were there for us. Today I learned of the death of a lady at our church who I just began to know in the last year or so. Not a long-time friend, but one I would have liked to know better for a longer time.

    1. It's the loss of the future that nags at me. I had better start getting used to it, I guess.


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