My husband's job allows for him to be a part of a gigantic network of uniformed and non-uniformed employees throughout the entire state. Most of those employees have or will be employed as a career for years and years and years, keeping in touch and running into those they've known or even just been aquainted with even after retirement. It doesn't stop there. The famlies of these employees, whether they work themselves or not, tend to know many employees and families as well.
My husband, Mike has transfered around the state enough to know various areas and people before ending up living here in the northern most part of California. Promoting again soon will most likely take him away from home for a while and inevitably will end up working with at least a small handful of people he has worked with before (or at least knows through another person).
The San Jose office is where Mike has spent the most time since we've been married. They were very family oriented in there, having not only an annual Christmas party for adults, but also one for the children. Along with their own squad cars, those in charge got together with other agencys and rounded up a firetruck, a ambulance and maybe a couple of cool tow trucks and even flew Santa in on a C.H.P. helicopter. Very exciting. It was pot luck and paid for by all of us chipping in (no pun intended) throughout the year.
One of those in charge of getting things together was a fellow Sergeant named Brian, who worked along side Mike until transfering elsewhere about a year before we left ourselves. Brian was always so funny and positive, getting along with everyone as far as I could tell. I had my own relations with him (be nice) with inside jokes, etc. In other words, I knew him personally - on my own. I could call him up and talk to his wife for a get together or a favor, that sort of thing...though I never did.
Though we haven't been in touch much over the last 3 years - just Christmas cards and the occasional e-mail. Anytime I hear the name Brian, he comes to mind before anyone else. We had fun times. I took for granted we'd all have our paths cross again someday sooner or later.
Today, Mike gave me a call from work with some sad news. Brian commited suicide last night.
I know no details. I'm just totally shocked. I can think of others that I wouldn't be as surprised, but HIM?! A million things run through my mind. A million cliches and quotes of living, loving, communicating while you can---
True. We never know.
So this day is for Brian, our friend. And as we joked anytime our paths would cross...
"You know? You're damn good lookin'!"
Bye good lookin' - I'll never forget you.