Me? A Hugger??

I'm not a hugger by nature. But as I get older, I feel like Life is trying to turn me into a hugger. This Monday at Boston is a great example - I was so happy for Kelly, and proud of her, and relieved for her that it went so well. We hugged a lot after the race, and all for good reason.

But my need to hug isn't just for happy reasons. While travelling on Friday, I received a call that a friend from undergrad was killed in an accident on Thursday. I didn't tell Kelly (sorry Kelly), I didn't want her to worry about anything. If you've been reading my blog for a while, then this is all going to sound like de ja vu. It was less than a year ago I lost my friend Andy in an accident. He left behind a wife and 1 year old.

John and I met Matt on the Concrete Canoe team in undergrad. John was the team captain his senior year, I was captain my senior year, and Matt was captain the year after that. We spent a lot of time together then and John and I even went down to Oklahoma to watch the Concrete Canoe National competition Matt's senior year. We did our best to try to talk him into going to grad school. He would have been great, but he declined. He took a job with a firm in WI and became a bridge inspector. He was a certified diver and his company sent him all over the midwest and southeast doing bridge inspections. Last week, he was on an inspection when the man-lift he was in came into contact with power lines. Matt just turned 27 a few weeks ago and he left his wife and 11 week old son behind.

We hadn't talked much in the last few years; Facebook and emails here and there, mostly exchanging job site photos. But he was an old friend who died too young and died during a bridge inspection, something that I do on a regular basis. Andy and I were much closer, but Matt's death has still hit too close to home.

Life is starting to feel like a cruel joke. Kelly has cancer. Matt is the third friend in less than 5 years who died in an accident and left behind a wife and child. Besides Andy, another college friend, Jim, died over 4 years ago and left behind a pregnant wife.

So I'm going to try out this whole "hugging" thing. Life is horribly unfair and chaotic and unpredictable. I can either be angry at life, or I can choose to embrace those around me I care about. Life is too short to be angry. Hugging it is.


Christi said...

I am so sorry about your friend. I am sending you hugs because like you I have come to realize that hugs are great.

Shelley Flones said...

You can count on me for a hug anytime. So sorry about your friend. So thankful to have you as a friend :)

Kelly said...

WHY DID YOU NOT TELL ME! Sam, I am so sorry. Really. I hate that I'm leaving this little comment on your blog, but too bad. Life is short...too short. I spent years of it away from my family and healthy as a horse. To be honest, I've never been happier here with my family and friends...cancer and all. So we will keep hugging, hugging for Matt and Andy and their loved ones still here. I am selfish for saying how blessed I am everyday to have you and the other friends in our lives...but I don't mind one-upping people on that-you are the best. If you need ANYTHING, please call...I will be there in seconds-hugs or no hugs!