Last week two of my friends died in a automobile accident a mere 31 days after their wedding. A wedding I was fortunate enough to be a part of. Adam and Sabrina Coffman left this mortal plane with Sabrinaís younger sister Jennifer, who I did not know very well.
There is no easy way to share the pain of loss. We try to rationalize why it had to happen, because if we could only find a reason then things might be different. A reason gives you something concrete to react to. You can agree or disagree, accept or reject, hate or love with a reason, and as humans we are bound to search for one in such senseless and random acts like this. Does that search give any meaning to the people who have departed? No. Funerals are more for the living than the dead, and while it is very hard to celebrate the life of someone whose absence leaves a gapping hole, that is the true essence of honor. I have no real words to convey sadness, grief, pain, or any of those emotions which all who knew them feel. What I want to bring is a tribute to the people I knew, the people who helped me become more of what I am today than I might ever admit.
As a freshman a Texas Tech I was not what you could call the most socially adept person in the world. In fact, you might go so far to say that I was pretty bad at Ďpeople skillsí. Neither Jay nor myself were ever really the most outgoing (sorry Jay) when we were young, but he learned much faster than I how to speak to people. When youíre not so people orientated a big school like Tech can be overwhelming, especially if your introduction to it is not in some class of 20 or 50 or even 100. Marching band starts before the actual semester and at the time I believe it had somewhere between 400 and 500 people in it. Not a real welcoming place. Throw in that many of the other students had already established boundaries of social interaction that I was ignorant of at best and it paints a really lonely picture of what could have been. But you see, it wasnít.
Adam, who was section leader at the time, marched a couple of spots next to me, and after the first day of everyone running around trying to figure out who goes where we had a break, a break where I sat down off to the side by myself. At least that was the plan. He came up and began a conversation, full of weird exclamations and odd jokes. Not that this is unheard of, but it was more than that. It was the presentation of somebody without guile. There was no hidden motive to why he wanted to talk, it wasnít some forced sense of duty that propelled it. No instructor said he had to and it wasnít in his own interest to do so. I soon found out that his other half played tenor and so I now had two people in a sea of uncertainty that I could talk to, or ride next to on the bus.
It turned out that Adam and I lived in the same dorm on campus and I, as the ever uncertain freshman that I was, took advantage of the fact that I had somebody to hang with when I wanted human interaction. He also happened to like video games, which spurred the longest game of Goldeneye. Ever. Proximity mines and two stubborn people are not a combination for efficiency.
I know that there was at least one person from Henderson that attended Adamís funeral and I also know that there are others who knew of him. To those and to his relations I pass what I can. Both Adam and Sabrina are some of the only people who were willing to hold judgment on me until the got to know me. They were kind and supportive of whatever I tried to do, they cared for me as a person and wanted my support in turn. For any faults, and Iím not stupid enough to claim that there were none, they were better to me than most Iíve known. Jay has been my closest friend for a while now, and I know that I can count on him to be there if I need help. I was not as close to Adam and Sabrina, but I know the very same of their commitment to me as a friend. I can make no statements outside of my own understanding, but I do know that the way to truly make their lives count and to honor their memory is to not dismiss what they showed me into the depths of memory. Adam is the reason that I joined Phi Mu Alpha and was largely responsible for what little progress I have made with learning to enjoy people. Sabrina showed that it is not only okay to be open with people, but actually refreshing. I will never forget these things that I have been taught by people who were, in many ways, much smarter than I will ever be.
I ask that all who read this keep both families in their hearts, minds, and prayers. I would also like to share, just in case, that I will always be there to help any of them if they need it and will honor my with their trust.
Thoughts: Well, it still seems wrong to do a rant and not put a thoughts section. Besides, I need a little levity in my day. Looks like they added the four-player support back into X-Men: Legends (http://www.x-men-legends.com/). So now you can knock heads with faceless drones with three buddies, and the world really does need more of that. There seems to be a generic stealth action game called Spy Fiction (http://www.spyfiction.com) made by Sammy Studios. That either means itíll be pretty good or really bad, not sure which. Either way it comes out on the 31st so feel free to check it out. This is my last semester of regular school coming up, so Iím a little pumped about the time spent and a little nervous about having to go do real work.
John Ė ďIf you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same;Ē
Wild Arms 3 and Morrowind