We have a best friend who is also Godfather to one of our children. They call him Uncle Rich.
Rich came into my life before I met Pooldad. 15 years ago he was the overnight DJ on a local DC radio station and when I couldn't sleep I would call him up and we would chat - for hours, which back before free long distance was pricey- in between songs. That is how I met him. Calling him up to request songs. It seems funny now, but not so strange back then.
For years Rich has been part of all our family gatherings and holidays as his family lives far away and he couldn't get home. He is just a natural extension of us and our families. Once in a while he would bring a date, but never anyone serious. He had never been married but we all knew he longed for a wife and family. He would tease us "I want what you guys have." We hoped and prayed for him. He truly was deserving of finding happiness with someone.
A few years ago, it seemed, he had finally found his soul mate. His best friend. He was giddy, happy in love and she was so special. They had a lot in common and just seemed to fit.
We were thrilled when he called us - out of the blue - to tell us he had eloped with his girlfriend Amy. You really couldn't find a cuter couple and we were so happy for them. His new wife became our "Aunt Amy".
Rich called me Wednesday night, late [which is normal for us, we always talk late]- but I was half asleep and begged off. He said no worries, to go back to bed knowing any sleep I get is bonus - he is great that way. I didn't get a chance to call him back. And now?
I am so sorry, my friend. My friend.
Amy passed away last weekend sometime while Rich was away on a retreat. He came home on Sunday and found her in bed.
Her funeral was Friday and he is having a celebration of her life next Saturday. Which is exactly what we should do for someone like Amy.
To give you an idea of how fun Amy is/was - Tie-dye clothing optional. And her favorite number? 3 - The celebration starts at 3:33 on Oct. 3. Nice.
Rest in peace my friend, my friend. You will be truly missed.