Cherish your Friends

I remember the first time I ever met my husband’s closest friend, “Doc.”
Doc was having a 4th of July party at his house in Silver Spring,
Maryland. A surgeon in the United States Navy, the 4th was always a
reason to celebrate for Doc—the date was very near to his own birthday and he was a real patriot. I met him and his wife and tiny little daughter during that party and immediately fell in love with them as a family. Not long after I met them, God blessed them with another beautiful daughter.

Before I met Doc, my husband had told me about all the adventures they
had had together while stationed at Cherry Point, Marine Corps Air
Station. My husband had a small airplane, for instance. One day, he
decided to take Doc up for a ride. Things went well until the
engine fell out while in flight. Seriously.

Good thing my guy knows how to react in an emergency—he was able to land it safely at the Air Station. Hard to believe you say? Oh, but it is true. I saw the pictures. If Doc hadn’t been in the back seat, however, the story might have ended differently. The plane might not have glided at all and instead, might have simply crashed into the ground. Thank goodness things happened the way they did.

Another story they shared also made me laugh. One day, they took a boat
out to a lake and went scuba diving. They had a great time, and as they came back to the surface, they noticed that their boat had vanished. They scanned the lake as best they could to see where their boat had gone, but couldn’t spot it. Another boat approached them and the occupants shouted, “Are you looking for a boat?” The guys said, “Yeah! Where is it?” The occupants, probably laughing under their breath, shouted back, “It sunk!” Just another adventure for them, I suppose.

Four years ago, when Little Boy G came home to us, Doc came over with
his two little girls and got to meet LBG. He checked him over, like a
good doctor would, and nodded his approval. He told us that being a
parent is the best thing in the world. And he was right. It was early
October, my favorite time of year.

By mid-October, it was time for us to take a trek to Skyline Drive to
see the trees at their best. I’ll never forget that day. It was just
like today. The sky was blue and the trees–the trees were bursting with
the glorious hues of autumn.

I remember saying to my husband, “God we are so lucky to be alive. This world is beautiful.”

We stopped by our friends’ house in Manassas on our way home to Baltimore. They offered us dinner before we headed back. We took them up on it–what better way to end the day.

The message on the answering machine was innocent enough. Another one of our friends said to call him. We did. And that’s when we were told what had happened. Doc was gone.

How it happened doesn’t matter. Why it happened, well, I’m still struggling with that one. I miss him. My husband misses him. His young daughters and wife miss him, as do his parents and siblings, and numerous friends around the world. We miss him every day, but especially today.  We love you Doc. Your loss is mourned more than you know, and your memory will burn bright like the colors of fall in our hearts, forever.