An old school buddy of mine, Tom passed away today - he was only 48 years old. I've known him since a teenager and although I can't say we were super close, he was a fixture in my old neighborhood and we would often see other around town and have a few beers together whenever I was visiting.
He was diagnosed with Oral Cancer in January - and he wasn't a smoker or user of any kind of tobacco. 3 months of treatment had little effect and went under hospice care this past weekend. He went so fast (which may have been a blessing).
Last year was tough on Tom as he lost both of his folks, only a few months apart. The whole clan were regulars at the local pub "The Bull and The Bear" and you could pretty much be sure to see at least one of the family there anytime you visited. One of the quirks at the bar that I always enjoyed was a betting pool on the color of Vannah's dress every night before The Wheel came on. Toss in $5 "Black, Red, Green" - whatever -funny thing is the winner always bought the next round which pretty much made it an even bet.
It's just hitting home - the dude was my age. I've lost many family members from cancer (as many members here know) - this is just the latest incident to wake me up and realize how important every day is and should be appreciated. Forget your petty grievances, give your loved ones a hug. In Tom's memory, do it!