Thursday, July 26, 2007

Game Over

Not many people call our house after 10 PM on a weeknight. Understandably, Rusty will sometimes get work-related calls that late. Family and friends hesitate to even call us after 9 PM. So, when Rusty and I received a phone call on Tuesday just after 10 PM, we were already wondering who it could be.

Rusty happened to be the one to answer the phone. When he told me that it was a friend's wife asking to speak with me, we knew it was bad news.
Bad, bad, bad. As he handed the phone to me, I knew that this was not gonna be good.

Sure enough, Raj, a friend of mine who I had met in the mid-70s at San Diego State University, had died last Thursday of a heart attack. He would have been 53 on September 7th. He would have been. No extra innings. No overtime. Game over.

From what I could ascertain, the ER really dropped the ball. It seems that he could have been saved if the proper protocol had been followed. To make matters worse for his wife, she is having difficulty accessing personal information stored on his business computer, which is passworded. If I understood her correctly, some of the personal documents have password security as well, passwords that she doesn't know --- at least, that was my impression. She doesn't even have the access that she needs to pay their bills online. Additionally, the two of them were in the process of preparing their living trust.

So... you might say that I'm somewhat in a state of shock, limbo, whatever. I'm feeling a bit lost, a bit numb, a bit introspective.

Raj was always a kindred spirit. He always will be. It's quite likely that his smile and his laughter contributed considerably to global warming on this planet. His smile alone could have easily illuminated every black hole in the universe.

While his death certainly disturbs me, it's also a wake up call, a reminder, a prod, which proclaims in a clear voice, "Hey, everybody, pay attention to your health and get your ducks in a row, 'cuz ain't no one safe!"