Monday, August 27, 2007

Mark was my neighbor for 13 years. I watched his daughters grow up from little girls into young ladies, admired his work ethic in keeping his house and yard looking fantastic, and enjoyed the conversations that we had. He was an electrical engineer, a regular church-goer, and a generally upstanding nice, moral, decent guy.

My family moved out of our old house last June and into a bigger house a few miles away. I would still occasionally see Mark on my trips back to the old house to take care of the lawn or check to make sure everything was okay. On Saturday, in getting our empty house prepared for an open house on Sunday, we were shocked to find that Mark had died that morning.

Apparently, Mark began having problems a few weeks ago when he had a yellowish tinge to his skin. After a trip to the doctor's office, he found out that he had bile duct cancer. Originally he was told it was inoperable, but then told that if he elected to have surgery, the chance of success was about 60%. He elected to have the surgery and was on the operating table for most of a day. However, he made it through and was released from the hospital. He was recuperating when he suddenly passed away.

Mark was 55 years old and seemed to be in good health. I would frequently see him walking or riding a bike, and he appeared to take good care of himself.

Mark's death serves as a reminder to me, and I guess, to anyone in general, that nothing in life, or even life itself, is guaranteed. Enjoy life while you can and live it to the fullest, for we never know when our time will come.


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