January 16, 2010
Patrick Hayes memorial run
Back in 1998, I spent a good part of my summer in Las Vegas helping Grandpa take care of my newly-disabled Grandma, Harriet. I recall one conversation we had one night in which my grandmother grumped that life wasn't worth living anymore; she'd done everything she wanted to do and most of her friends were dead and the last few were dying. I vaguely understood her position, but didn't understand why she didn't take more joy in her husband, children, and grandchildren.
These days, I understand some of that much better. Since November 1st, I've lost four acquaintances, three of them from CF. Now, in the world of CF, very few of us actually know each other in person - contact is discouraged because of cross-contamination issues. So we make our communities online and in emails, newsletters, and pictures. We can become very close that way. So losing both Tom Hubin and Deron Arnold in November was quite a shock.
This morning I found that a fairly close internet friend, Patrick Hayes, passed away last night while waiting for a transplant. To be sure, the picture was grim, and the dry run earlier this week raised everybody's hopes for a moment. His passing isn't altogether unexpected, but a lot sooner than anybody thought. He was a great voice in the Great Conversation and I'll miss him.
So is this what life is? What getting older really means? That you make fewer and fewer new friends each year, but lose more and more old ones? This isn't getting any easier. I'm glad it's not! Because if it became easier, what would that make me?
I've been staring at this post for 15 minutes. I don't know what else to write. Things just feel a little useless right now.
After I read about Patrick and the responses to that news on the CF list, I went for a run. Great weather; just...perfect. Absolutely perfect running weather. This was a pretty good run, for me; though still full of walking and ultimately very slow. I'm never going to be happy with that. But for now, it's better than the alternative. I gotta keep it up so I don't end up like Patrick; and I know Patrick would be encouraging me to keep going out there and clearing out my lungs and invogorating my entire body. Maybe this is why I'm not racing right now - trying to find the real motivation, the actual reasons I should continue to run.
Patrick was younger than me. He was 36 years old.