Gone in but a Blink

Last July, my family and I drove to Portland, Maine to visit my sister. We spent the weekend on the beach, picking strawberries, and cooking some good food. Once the kiddos went to bed, my sister suggested we go to the local watering hole and see her friend, Darren.

The bar was interesting. Most of the people were drunk, including the bartender and we almost found ourselves in the middle of a good old-fashioned bar brawl. Thankfully, the fight was subdued before it got off the ground. It was stopped by Darren, himself.

He just stood between one mean guy and an incredibly drunk guy. He body blocked both of them while standing straight ahead. His energy was low-key, non-threatening, yet firm. There wasn’t going to be a fight. Not on his watch, but his energy was a calm one. It put out the fire versus enraging it.

After the two guys left the bar, we laughed with Darren about the whole confrontation, had some beers, and said good night.

My sister and I still laugh at the night. Well, probably not anymore. Just last night, I read on her facebook feed. that Darren had passed away.

As of yet, I don’t know the reason. Darren was middle aged, only slightly older than me. By all accounts young and well loved. I’m sad that he’s gone. Sad for him. Sad for my sister. Sad for all the folks up in Maine who are crying themselves to sleep tonight.

When people are born, we have months to prepare for their coming. When people go, they leave in but a blink of an eye. Death feels like a robbery because it is, except instead of losing some LCD television that can be replaced with the swipe of a card, we’re losing something priceless. Something this universe will never see again.

Hold true and love hard.

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