Thursday, March 30, 2017

Ed & Dan

A few years back we were thinking of St. Bonaventure as a school for Matt.

Matt and my beautiful wife were selling me a bit of a story on how much it would cost per year. I happened to be whining about it on a job and one of the superintendents, Ed, explained exactly how much it would cost. Ed had a child that was just about finished with her four years in Olean.

"I'm just about finished up," Ed told me at the time. "My daughter is graduating and then getting married in a couple of years, and I'll be done. All the kids educated and out of the house. Time to have some fun and save some money. Just a few more years of work."

A couple of years later, Ed found out that he had cancer.

He called me three months ago to share some good news. He had walked his daughter down the aisle and despite having to retire a little early, he was doing good.

"Cancer free!" He exclaimed.

Ed died three weeks ago.

Around the same time I went to a job and found that the usual superintendent, Dan, wasn't there.

"You didn't hear?" His replacement, Bill, asked. "Dan has cancer. It's very aggressive. They're harvesting his stem cells and he's on heavy doses of chemo."

I called Dan.

"I'm doing great," he said. "I'll fight, you know it. The docs know what they're doing. I'll be back before you know it."

Yesterday I stopped by Dan's job again. Once more Bill filled me in.

"Have you seen Dan?" He asked.

I shook my head.

"He's lost about a hundred pounds."

I thought of Ed.

I considered Dan's kids.

"His daughter is getting married in September," Bill said. "All Dan wants to do is walk her down the aisle."

"Son-of-a-bitch," I said.

"Great parting gifts we get for playing, huh?" Bill asked.

Bill saw me limping as we made it across the site.

"How are you? How's the hip? The back?"

"I'm all right," I said. "Dan and Ed...damn."

"Yeah."

"Damn," Bill said.

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