There are those in life who can write off a friendship as easily as they change television channels - I have always felt lucky not be included in that number. One of the truly wonderful things about the Internet is that I have been able to reconnect with old friends I have lost touch with over the years.
Never one to make oodles and gobs of friends, I have always valued the friends I have made over the years, and the chance to reconnect with therm - even at a distance - seems nothing short of a miracle.
How bitterly ironic, then, that I never thought to seek out Kevin Robar, my best friend from first grade through third, until a few short weeks after he had died. Even more ironic, I suppose, is the fact that Platte City, Missouri, where he lived his final years, is only four hours away from Fayetteville.
Kevin, like so many others we know, was taken from this life by cancer.
He has several children and grandchildren who survive him. He loved the mountains of Colorado.
These are things I learned from his obituary.
Since no services were planned for Kevin, there would be no chance for people who knew him to stand and share stories. I would have been there.
I would have told everyone how we were the very best of friends for three solid years, until the Colchester school system in Vermont assigned us to different schools in fourth grade. I would tell all assembled how we were inseparable on the playground, and how Kevin saved me from bullies one day.
We used to share bizarre stories about life on the school bus every day, convinced that what we were saying to each was absolute gospel.
Since I was a shy child by nature, Kevin was not only my best friend, he was pretty much my only friend in those early years of elementary school.
I didn’t have a best friend in fourth grade.
I have thought about Kevin many times over the years, and even told others about my first best friend, but I never, ever thought to type his name into a search engine and see what he might be up to.
Until barely two weeks after his death, that is.
Writing this today will be my memorial to Kevin. I hope you had a good life, brother, and that you weren’t in too much pain as the end approached. I hope that there was someone there to hold your hand, and distract you from the pain.
I’ll see you again.
Quote of the Day
The important thing in life is not to have a good hand but to play it well. - Louis-N. Fortin