This week, two men have died who I was fortunate to have had the chance to know - albeit to a limited degree. While I knew neither well enough to deign to claim to have earned the title "friend" from either, my interaction with each was never anything but friendly. Each was a man roughly the same age as I. Each was deprived the chance to celebrate his 50th birthday. Each a good man who deserved a substantially better fate. Each whose death is, I submit, irrefutable evidence of Life's inherent inequity.
Those who loved each man have, this week, grieved his loss - a process that shall continue long past the completion of this week and of the next. For those who loved each most of all and for those who each loved most of all, the promise of better days ahead seems empty. The family, a term limited by neither kinship nor marriage but all-encompassing enough to include the great, lifelong friends who knew and loved them, each has left behind is distraught at the loss of one loved so richly and yet enriched by having had the opportunity to do so.
Today is St. Patrick's Day, a day awash in besotted revelers who foolishly (albeit, significantly more often than not with no malice aforethought) believe that "what it means to be Irish" is to be stumbling drunk at 8:00 am on a work day. On this St. Patrick's Day, the Tuyp family and the Newcomb family could easily teach those transient imbeciles what is the true meaning of being Irish...