Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Johnsons

My parents grew up together. Same junior high. Same high school. Both middle children in their respective families - large and fairly well known in the community (mom's for having smart kids, dad's for having top notch jocks).

The Johnson family wasn't much different than theirs. The Johnsons lived in the same neighborhood as my mom's family. Their middle son is still best friends with my dad. He lives two doors down from us.

The oldest Johnson son was best friends with my late Uncle Rich.

And my mom was best friends with their younger daughter.

On the exterior, it is very wholesome. These families, all so linked that we can barely determine where one ends and another begins.

When my Uncle Rich died, I remember that his best friend, Bill Johnson, drove to Cincinnati for the funeral. I remember thinking that it was especially nice. Bill, the oldest child of the Johnson family, had a spotty past. Drugs. Jail. Always troubled. But he managed to be there for my family when Uncle Rich died. I respected that.

Bill Johnson has a daughter my age.

And late last night, his daughter received a call that he had been found. Dead. Seven days after he had passed away.

She lives out of state. She arranged a flight home this morning. And when she got here, she called her cousin and asked him to pick her up at the airport. And then she gave everyone the news.

I can't imagine. I can't imagine my father dying. And being across the country. And being 26. I can't imagine learning about it from a coroner.


allimarie said...

I can't even let myself think about losing my dad. I depend on him for nothing, he lives halfway across the globe, but I'd be lost without him.

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