He was only 58 years old. His illness and death came on so suddenly and shocking for so many close to him and even to those who were just acquaintances. He was one-in-a-million, one person in a million per year, diagnosed with Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD).
I remember the first time I met him at a college graduation ceremony over thirty years ago. He was rebellious looking. He took the time to converse with me making sure I understood him. I liked him. Over the years, with each encounter, my respect for him only deepened. He was kind, compassionate, loved his family, hunting and dogs. He always made the effort to make sure I understood the conversations.
I deeply grieved for those he left behind -- his wife and daughter, his only sibling, and his father. My heart is eased knowing he is a believer and did not fear death.
Learning of this news, with additional news of the death of the mother of a brother-in-law's wife (that was a mouthful), and the hospitalization of my own husband's mother, all over the span of a long weekend (three days), intensified many things for me. I had to retreat from everything. My thoughts were introspective. Dan was even affected by everything happening seemingly at once. He rarely lets things get to him.
Fortunately, my husband's mother is fine, stable and is back home. Unfortunately, they do not know what is wrong and this is the second time in just three years this "illness" has happened to her.
I had planned to attend Heart of Texas One Stop Shop Hop in Waco, Texas for a couple of months now. This event is happening today and tomorrow. I am still planning to attend tomorrow. However, the excitement of attending this event is replaced with sadness.
Recently, while watching a rerun of an episode of Elementary, a quote really stuck with me. So, I will leave you the following quote:
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep;
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
~ Robert Frost