Friday, August 3, 2012


Tonight, surprisingly, shockingly, so unexpectedly I find myself mourning. A dear friend from my college days passed away. Please indulge me while I take a little time to air my grief in this public square.  Mourning alone is pretty bleak.  So, I throw this out there and see where it lands.

Earlier today, alerted by another dear friend I found that a man that played an important role in my early adulthood left this world yesterday.  So strange.  We'd fallen out of touch.  We followed one another online but had little interaction.  I always thought that the depth of our shared history would bring our lives back together, as life does seem to connect people in circles.  Yet, here I am grieving, wishing that the chance to sit down and catch up wasn't gone.  How much I wish we'd known each other as real adults, with a little more life experience to our credit and a bit more wisdom.   I wish he'd met my Fin.

Here is what I wrote earlier today on my friend Colly's Facebook page:

"So many memories. Colly, for a season of this life you were my brother. This afternoon I'm thinking of late night ice cream runs, hammocks in Matamoros, swim up bars in South Padre Island, touring Texas in the rented soccer-mom van, JD and coke... so many more. I so wish we'd remained that close. Just last week, I was thinking of you and all those crazy adventures. Colly, you helped make my life not about the events but about 'the story.' "

We had a sort of motto, "It's not what happens, good or bad,  it's whether or not you get a good story."   We had lots of stories to tell.  It is unimaginable that we won't sit in our old age reminiscing about our crazy youth.

Together I think, we learned to laugh at ourselves.  To laugh at our faults.  To laugh when we made fools of ourselves.  The ability to laugh at myself is one of the greatest gifts I carry through this life.

So, in memory, these are the things I would say to you Colly, had life brought us back together.  They are not life changing but simple remembrances, my memorial...

Did you know you were my second friend at HSU?  You are the one that, at first, made that place bearable when it was all so strange and the people so "normal" like some Stepford nightmare.

Remember how you sent me into the liquor store for Jack Daniels when I turned 21?  I joked for years that I was destined to be an alcoholic because the first alcohol I ever bought was Tennessee whiskey.

Remember how the vendors chased us out of the market in Matamoros Mexico, literally onto the street because I asked about that hammock?

Remember the one and only weekend I called in "sick" to work so I could stay with you and the other boys and play Resident Evil, my one and only video game binge.  Okay, I admit, I didn't play the game, I just screamed in appropriate places and played the role of cheerleader.  That game was frightening.

Remember the road trips?

Remember how I came to visit you in Austin and my dog Tennison lifted his leg on the wall in your entry hall?  I was MORTIFIED!  He'd never peed in a house in his whole long life, until he found yours.

Remember taking me to the Rocky Horror Picture Show?

Remember San Antonio?

Remember all the late nights talking, swimming in your apartment pool after hours, being friends, solving the world's problems?

Colly Dear, part of me thinks it's all a hoax.  I wish it was.  I'd forgive you for scaring us.

Post Script: I was reminded of another memory by another old friend.  I hope people remind me of even more.

Remember driving the get-away car the night we toilet papered the home of the university president?


  1. So sorry for your loss. Those sound like good times and wonderful memories.

  2. Thank you KIT. I took this down for a while. It felt too personal. This morning, reading it again, I know it is true and as I have no one in my current life with whom I can remember it felt important for my own grief to post it.

  3. So sorry to hear of your loss, Bethany.


  4. Thank you S. I appreciate you and your kindness.

  5. Fin say: BG (Blogger Girl) like onion...many, many layers and sometimes make tears come.

    Thank you again, for making the miracle that is us possible.

  6. I am so sorry for your loss.... sounds as though you have very fond memories, hang on to those! If you need anything let me know, i'm only a phone call away:) -Lu

  7. Thank you Lu. Just can't believe he's gone. He would be 38 this month.

  8. It's amazing to think that Colly is gone. I remember you talking about him back when you were going to HSU. I am sorry he is gone and that I never met him. Hold on to your memories of him.

  9. I am so sorry to read this. It is wild to imagine that energy missing. This post was very touching.


  10. I'm terribly sorry to hear about his passing. I know it is a shock to you.

  11. fragilewisdom, thank you for the kind thoughts!

    Bobby, that is exactly it. All of us that knew him feel as if a great light/energy were missing.

    Chiang Guy, thank you. I was!


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