Last night, an old friend (ok, an old boyfriend, really) came to mind. We met at church camp the summer in between my 8th & 9th grade years. He was a year older, lived about an hour away from me and had some trouble at home so he was staying with his youth pastor at the time. I'm not sure what kind of 'trouble' it was, but I got the impression that it wasn't something he had done wrong...but rather a bad situation with his parents. Anyway, like all teen summer romances, we fell madly in love (ok, so maybe there is a little sarcasm there...) and vowed to never break up.
When we got home from summer camp, we wrote letters like crazy, back & forth a couple of times a week. I could hardly wait to see the mailman come down the driveway every day because I was so anxious to hear from Billy. We talked on the phone now and then, but this was back before cell phones & free long distance plans, so our long-distance calls to talk were few & far between.
Anyway, our summer romance became a Fall romance. One day he showed up at my house on a Sunday afternoon & my parents allowed me to ride with him to church that night. We lost contact that Fall & decided it was best to break up & see other people. But I never forgot him.
So last night, his name came to mind & I went to Facebook to look him up. I found a lot of other people by his name (his last name is fairly common) but not HIM. So I googled him. Again, with such a common name, I got a million hits for men all over the world. To narrow it down, I searched for his name & added on the last city I knew that he'd lived in.
And that's when I found it.
An obituary for Billy. From September 2005. I thought that surely this wasn't his obituary, after all he would've only been about 32 in 2005. But when I began reading the birthdate, family members' names, where he'd lived....I knew it was him. I'm still in shock.
I will certainly survive this loss without much grief, but it's always hard to read that someone your own age has died. I have to wonder what he died of. An accident, cancer, suicide, an unexpected illness, murder....who knows? Fortunately with today's technology, I was able to look up some of his family members & pallbearers on Facebook and I sent them messages about Billy. Maybe I can find out what happened.
Go hug your kids & your spouse. You just never know what tomorrow may bring. Or if you'll see tomorrow.
4 years ago