I didn’t feel right ONLY posting about our fun-filled Chicago trip over Fall Break because the truth is……while it may have seemed like our Fall Break was all “rainbows & unicorns” here at the Thompson household, it wasn’t. Friday morning, upon Chris’ return to hotel room with our Starbucks fix, he had the difficult task of delivering some terrible news….a dear friend of ours had suddenly passed away. Details and information at that point were sketchy & to say that we were in shock would be an understatement. In fact, I don’t think I even started to try to process it until we got home on Friday night. See, I hadn’t talked to Alan in several years…..only he was an INTEGRAL part of my history…..a piece to my puzzle, a chapter in my book – I loved him dearly, but after Chris and I got married & started our family, we kind of lost touch with the group of friends we spent incredible amounts of time with in our late 20’s. I mean, this group was FAMILY. Alan was family. It was at my welcome home (from Los Angeles) party he threw for me that I MET Chris…like the very first weekend I moved back. Alan was part of our WEDDING. This news hurt….bad, even despite how long ago I last talked to him or even saw him. See, I always just thought……I’m sure he’s great! I’m sure he’s ok. I’m sure his life is just fine (even without me actively in it). The sad truth, however, was – he WASN’T fine. He was hurting. He was sick. He was not ok. On Friday night more truths about Alan’s sudden passing were shared with me, things that might even haunt me for the rest of my life because I couldn’t help but feel such a horrible sense of regret. Could I have helped? Why did I just assume he was OK? I mean, he was supposed to be just fine – living a busy life, traveling – enjoying friends. But, he wasn’t.
On Sunday evening Chris and I had to do one of the hardest things we’ve done in our lifetime……attend a memorial service for our dear (young) friend. On the way there my mind was racing…..we were going to be seeing so many friends we hadn’t seen in years (friends who really were once family to us) & was this REALLY what it took for us all to come together again? What in the world were we doing? This wasn’t supposed to happen…..he was so young, so charismatic, so Alan! To know him was to absolutely love him. There was just no better way to say it. Walking into the funeral home was tough….I felt panicky and emotional. Again, I just kept thinking “we aren’t really doing this.” Quickly we connected with some of our good friends & it didn’t feel strange after all these years (like I had feared), it felt necessary….comforting….and then sad. Hug after hug….comments about the “good times” we all shared left me, again, with so many regrets. How had we lost touch with this “family” & HOW in the world was this happening to us? This wasn’t supposed to be WHERE we all met up again, but…..it was.
The service was beautiful. The stories about Alan were perfection & the large number of people in attendance were a true testament to just how many people loved him. I know he was looking down on his friends as they shared stories, hugs, laughs & he was smiling that big Alan smile that I just can’t seem to get out of my head. Rest in peace sweet friend – we will never forget you. Thanks for the incredible memories….until we meet again…..#60/40.
P.S. Life is short -hug your loved ones tight!
P.P.S. To my sweet friends Leigh, Brian, Deron, Darin, Tina, Jason & Eric – cheers to the AMAZING times we shared! We have some great memories! Love to you all! xoxoxo