Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the death of my best friend, Bill Owen. It’s a date that has been looming in the back of my mind for a couple of weeks now as I ponder how I’ll pause to reflect on the past year. I’ve written here and there on how this loss continues to bubble up and affect me every time I think I’ve managed to put it to rest and nothing much has changed in that regard.
It’s been a year and I still can’t drive past a white Volkswagen Jetta without looking to see if it’s Bill behind the wheel. There’s been more than one heart-stopping moment in that time when I mistakenly thought the person in that car did look a little like Bill. I still occasionally think about calling him before realizing he’s not around to call. I still make mental notes to tell him about things I think he’d be interested in hearing about like the upcoming release of the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD. He’d probably be one of the folks complaining about it being the special editions as he would’ve preferred the original theatrical cuts. He’s been gone a year and there’s a part of me that refuses to acknowledge this fact. It’s weird, but I have both a sense of how long he’s been gone and the feeling it all just happened yesterday.
I can pretty much recite to you word for word the phone call I got from our friend Rob telling me Bill had been in an accident and asking me to come down to the hospital. Hell, I can recall just about every thought that went through my head as if it had been etched there. I can still see Bill laying on the gurney in the hospital when I went in with his mother to ID his body as if I had just walked out of the room. I can still taste the residual anger I felt when I learned more about how this pointless tragedy happened.
I had hoped I would come up with something poignant to say while writing this, but I can’t think of anything that seems to do the job. I will probably not be updating my blog at all tomorrow so I’m mainly writing this to let you folks know why now. And if you’ve not chatted with your best friend in awhile then do yourself a favor and ring them up to check in ‘cause life is short.
Sometimes shorter than we realize…
*Quote from Mark Twain