Thursday, June 2, 2011

Circle of Life, Rest in Peace, Dear Friend

At 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31, I was watching underpriviledged youth receive their high school graduation stoles for a program called FACES for the Future, a program that I had helped to initiate three years ago through my job as the Grants Officer for Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego. The audience was brought to tears when one of the graduating Seniors declared that the program had saved her life by helping her avoid a gang lifestyle that is prominent in her neighborhood. I was moved.

At 10:15 p.m. that same night, my husband's cell phone rang. I recognized a familiar tone in his voice indicating that one of his good friends was on the other end of the line. His friend was delivering bad news. Very bad news. Also at 6:30 that night, our friend had been struck by a car while riding his bicycle on a seemingly safe bike path along route 56. He was killed instantly. Struck from behind, the accident happened too fast for him to get out of harm's way. A freak accident. A freak accident that leaves his lovely wife a widow and the single mom of their two kids....who are the same age as mine. Rest in peace, sweet Nick.

I could not help but think of the irony in these to occurrences that night. Underpriviledged youth just starting their lives, lives that have been turned around and changed a good friend of mine, losing his. I remember Nick and Deb's wedding. I remember how happy they were...I know how happy he made another good friend of mine, Andrew, who was his college roommate and one of my husband's very closest friends. Sincere I think is how I would best describe Nick. Just an all around nice is his wife.

To be a widow around age 40 is something I cannot even fathom. Deb had wanted Steve and I to hear of Nick's passing from Andrew. I was very touched that she even thought of us in a time like that. I emailed her right away and will call this weekend. I want her to know that I am thinking of her.

I hope that my cancer journey has helped me to know what to do.... I have learned that calling is better than not calling. Support will come and go. Anything I can do to help make her smile is good. Even if I can put a twinkle in her eye for a split second, I am helping. These things I know....because in my most dark hours, these things are what I needed.

Now is my chance to give back.....

As I go to bed tonight, my thoughts are truly with Deb. I hope someone is staying at the house with her. I envision her and her kids all sleeping in one bed. I envision her getting up in the middle of the night to cry in the other room so as to not to wake her sleeping angels. And I know Nick is watching over them all.

And as I go to bed tonight, I will go look in on my sleeping angels, thankful for all my many blessings...and at this time especially, thankful that my cancer journey has taught me what to do in times of tragedy.


  1. Marsi,

    This is a tragic story but you told it beautiful. I will keep your friends in my thoughts and please let me know what I can do to help. I read about this accident just the other day and was thinking "the poor riders" I also want to tell you great job for helping that girl start her new life, you do amazing things! Big hugs! Kristine

  2. We've been praying for them since we saw the news that it had happened, even though we didn't know any names. It's just an unimaginable thing to happen. We will continue to lift up his family and his friends.

  3. Wow, tragic, so sorry to hear this. My heart goes out to you and your friend Deb. I can't imagine what she's going through right now, her poor children- ugh! I will keep them all in my prayers! Just Saturday I was talking to one of the Oakland Police Officer's widow (one of the four officers killed two years ago in a tragic, awful story that's HUGE around here), she's a dear friend of my sister. We were talking about how many YOUNG widows I know and/or know of. It's crazy! I have so many around me, and I feel for those kids, it's awful to watch. But they move on...Of course with much pain I'm sure. She was telling me she's at peace with moving on, how her husband would've wanted it for herself and their 3 kids. I cannot begin to know- yuck! You're a good friend, I'm sure she'll appreciate the mass support you're bound to offer her! I too lost a dear friend this week. A plane crash- how many people know someone who dies in a plane crash? Freaky. I'm sure like you have been, I've been utterly sick about it all week. I hate death.

  4. I think the same way now. My husband's cousin's wife was just diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease. She's young with 2 kids. I know it's better to show support right away (via cards, if nothing else), even though I don't know what to say, and she lives far away. Cancer taught me that, at least. Tragedies are striking all around us all the time. We have to be open and available to support people through them.
    So sorry for the loss of your friend.

  5. Marsi and Steve, I had no idea the tragic story I saw on the news had touched your lives. I watched it and said a prayer, thinking how senseless this is...such a terrible loss of a wonderful man. I am so so very sorry for your loss of your friend. Please call if there is anything I can do...I am always here, Love you Lynn