Another Friend Leaves This Earth Far Too Soon

two-boys-playing-on-a-raftThis is not a post I wanted to write. My mom called to tell me that Scott, the first friend I made after we moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota in the summer before I entered eighth grade, dropped dead on his 49th birthday after getting out of a boat at a lake cabin on Sunday. He leaves behind a wife and two school-age daughters.

Scott was three years younger than me but we were inseparable for a couple of years before his family moved a few blocks away and our age difference sent us in different directions. I hadn’t had any contact with Scott in more than thirty years until I called him last year just to say hi and see how he was doing.

It was just three months ago that one of my best friends in the world, whom I had known since high school, dropped dead eight days after turning fifty. Neil’s death prompted me to write a post urging people to leave no words unspoken with those you care about.

The older we get, the more we cherish relationships formed in our earlier days. We will always make new friends but we cannot replace the friends we have known all of our lives. I now have more empathy for my mother and mother-in-law, both of whom have outlived three siblings and their very best friends.

I’ve posted this quote before but it bears repeating and is especially appropriate here:

If you had an hour to live and could only make one phone call, who would you call, what would you say, and why are you waiting?
Stephen Levine

Postscript: Within 24 hours of posting this, I learned that Lisa, the youngest of six sisters who lived across the street from us in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, had succumbed to cancer at forty-five. My childhood was spent in two cities—and within days of each other, a younger neighbor who lived across the street in each of those two cities has died. Both of them have a memorial service scheduled next Monday at 4 PM.

I also just learned that Mesa Kincaid, one of my sister’s friends from her radio days in the Twin Cities, died suddenly of a heart attack at fifty-two. It’s so sad that so many young people are checking out way too soon.

Click here to see all my posts featuring my life stories.


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2 Responses to “Another Friend Leaves This Earth Far Too Soon”

  1. Angelina Says:

    My deepest condolences.

    After reading your post and seeing the tag of your book “Sixty Seconds: One moment changes everything” I was struck with how poignant that title really is.

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you very much, Angelina. I appreciate the sentiment.

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