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It Comes in 3s

Yes, I’m talking about death.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard that my great uncle passed away, which was the first.  He was in his 90s. Although he probably was better at ‘clean living’ than me and my generation, props to him for having a long, healthy life.  As soon as I heard of his passing, however, I began to worry.  Superstitious I am, especially when it comes to the tri-ness of death.

Second I heard about was one of my former pharmacy mentors, who gave me my very first job in retail pharmacy.  Don was an icon at that particular store, and people came to see him.  I learned a lot just by watching him, and he was always willing to give good advice on his profession, which he was very proud of. He, too, lived a long life, although he did suffer from a debilitating illness.  But he didn’t let that stop him…ever.

So, thinking I might actually flee the elusive power of 3 by not hearing of any other passings, no such luck.  Yesterday, I heard from one of my former colleague’s wife, who just wanted to let me know that my former colleague and friend Tim had passed away last fall of pancreatic cancer.  As I sat in the car and looked at the iPhone in the parking lot, a wave of shock washed through me.  I had traded other emails, texts, and phone calls with other former colleagues at this particular company where we all worked, and his name came up frequently.  “Have you talked to Tim?  What’s he up to?”  No one knew for awhile.  And shame on all of us for not picking up the phone randomly to find out.  The scariest part of this third passing was that Tim was not much older than me.  He passed way too young and left behind an amazing family – one that he always loved to talk about and was so proud of.

The third passing of Tim reminds me of one thing: you never know when your time is going to be up.  That’s why we each have to live every day like it’s our last.  If we don’t, we begin to start taking things for granted – like friends, family, and all the others who so enrich our lives.  I’m striving to be more aware of this today, and in the days to come.

Rest in peace to my dear 3 friends.

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