I was out shopping with my wife, enjoying a fresh spring day. We’d been tight about going out during the pandemic. She is compromised with RA, so she worries, and I worry.
While I was shopping, I thought often at my sick cats at home, hoping they were okay, processing sticker shock and dismay at the most recent men fashion trends, especially in shoes.
I returned home. Both cats were alive and okay (relatively). My voice mail notified me of messages. The first few sounded shaken and just asked to receive a call back, no subject given. They arrived hours ago.
The third one got explicit. Word had gone out. ‘Mike’ had been hit by a truck and killed. No confirmation of which Mike. There are three in our group of friends.
Further messages and emails clarified: a friend of mine named Mike was hit by a truck and killed while delivering food to senior citizens. Eighty-five years old himself, he stayed busy, volunteering at numerous places, always helping others, or traveling to museums and art exhibitions around the country. He’d been a mainstay in our beer group and was the driving force behind the donations collected from the beer drinkers to fund STEM efforts in local at-risk, low-income schools, and for the regional high school robotics program. He leaves behind a wife who was also busy as a volunteer, and a huge gap in our community.