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.
14 hours ago