Friday, April 28, 2023

Dealing with Five Months of Death

 "They were asking if you were around -- How you was, where you could be found."

                                    The Boys Are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy

It has now been one month since my last post. Time flies quickly sometimes. Where have I been? Well ... dealing with

Five months of death

It actually goes back to November 15, 2022. The day started out with promise. I was in Las Vegas and would be attempting to get some Taylor Swift pre-sale tickets for my daughter. The promise of the day was totally shattered when I heard that a tragedy happened to a former work friend. Some quick digging and calling turned up the sad story. My friend's only child, an adult who was married and a mother, was walking and hit and killed by a vehicle after she dropped her son off at school. The next several hours were spent crying and texting a multitude of former work friends. It would be accurate to say that we all felt destroyed that day.

Less than three weeks later, I received a notice that a former work friend was as death's door. He passed away the next day. This friend, Jack, and I had both had the same bad situation dealing with a supervisor at work. Jack had already been gone from the place when I was hired, and four years later, I got a job working at the same place Jack had moved on to.

Bad news continued on into 2023 when I found out that another former co-worker, Lenita, passed away due to cancer at the young age of 66 at the end of March. Lenita and I had an interesting relationship. We were rarely on good terms when we were both directors of our respective areas. I once even suggested to our supervisor that the best thing she could do to Lenita would be to fire her! Several years later, Lenita and I actually forged a decent friendship -- sort of like two old warriors coming to an understanding and appreciation of and for the other. She retired before I did and at least was able to reap some good years of retirement.

The most recent sadness came the second week of the current month when a member of my meet-up group trivia team and the guy who hosts my local home poker game, texted that he had lost his son. I  found out later that his son, only 22 years old, had suffered from depression for some time and had shot and killed himself the week before. The father, Bobby, has a vast array of friends in town. He invited his poker buddies to play one night to help him cope and had at least two happy hours/nights out with friends to get him through his pain.

The common link to these four deaths (two friends and the only children of two other friends) is yours truly. I've felt like there has been a pall hanging over me. Fortunately, I have a great life and some very good family and friends, so I was able to focus on that. I played a lot of poker, which also really helps. I'm hoping that I won't hear of any deaths to any friends or their kids for some time. I am ready for a return to what I consider my normal life. I was disappointed that a trip to Los Angeles  earlier this month had to be canceled since the friend I was to meet there had some surgery. He was going to house sit for a friend and I was going to join him. For several years, we talked about making the rounds at the area cemeteries to see the graves of famous people. Maybe next year.


Early next week, my wife is leaving for almost two weeks on a trip to the Holy Land. For various reasons, I decided to stay home and watch over the house and pets. She's extremely excited to go, having been a good Catholic girl her whole life. While she's gone, it would be fair to assume that I will continue my regular poker schedule -- and maybe increase it.

My next scheduled trip to Las Vegas is June 6-12. For some reason, I have been the recipient of some good room offers this summer. I will be spending one night at Excalibur, two at South Point (first time staying there) and three nights at Golden Nugget (first time staying there). I generally avoid the Fremont area, so this trip will be interesting. With all the trips I've taken to Las Vegas, I have only stayed downtown one night each on two separate trips. We'll see how things work out. Also, I plan on playing in the WSOP Gladiator event. Seeing as how I rarely play tournaments anymore, taking a stab at this low low priced donkathon doesn't seem too horrible.

Thanks for reading!