Last November

It’s been almost a year since my dad’s best friend died. That seems like a weird thing for me to remember and think about, but he was a true friend and a genuine person, the kind of person who speaks in such a frank way that after he leaves you, you think, “Why can’t more people be as honest and real as he is?” He was a rarity.

I thought about him for the last two days after I heard about my dad’s blocked artery. I’m sure this friend had the same condition and just had no idea about it since he didn’t care for doctors’ visits and his general health. What would it be like if he were here and knew this about my dad? Would he take it upon himself to get his own heart health checked, too?

I have just a few but very fond memories of him and our conversations — in person, on the phone, and via e-mail. I remember asking him about his health, and he was honest and said he hadn’t seen a doctor in so many years. I told him that he should go — he was at that age when people started dying from heart attacks. He waved me away and said he’d think about it. I guess he never got around to it.

Too many sad things have happened in the last year and a half of my life. I still miss Ed every day, and the pain of losing him has only gotten stronger in the last few days since learning about our dad’s heart condition. But I hope that my dad’s surgery will go well and be a turning point in his life — in our lives together. I told him last year that he has to live until 150 and do whatever it takes to live that long because he’s not allowed to go anywhere. And I meant that.

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