Le Lapin Inconnu

A High School classmate of mine died of a heart attack on Friday.  He was 43.  He was married to a younger classmate - two years behind us.  He was divorced from a girl from our class, who was from my same neighborhood.

It happened fairly often, but I was always surprised when people from High School married.  And none of them had dated in High School - it was always after - sometimes there was a gap of a few years, but I know many who are married to classmates.  I don't know that I would be compatible with any of my classmates. 

Anyway, my classmate, TG, had two daughters with his first wife, and she's the one whose announcement alerted me to his death.  I feel bad for his two daughters (who are maybe 13 and 11), his current wife, who is now a widow, and his ex-wife whose grief is, as we say, complicated.

I have only a few memories concerning TG.  They happened when we were in Middle School.  The first was when my 7th grade crush asked me if I liked TG.  Well, no - I liked my crush.  I gave some tepid response to the effect of  "I don't really know him but he seems nice".  So there was that.

That spring, I went to Perimeter Mall with my Church Youth Group.  Because that was a Christlike thing to do, I guess.  I honestly cannot remember what the purpose of the trip was, but as 13 year-olds, we were wandering the mall unaccompanied.

Me and some of my gal pals were passing the Hallmark Store, and there was an Easter Bunny out front of it.  By that, I mean a person in a full bunny suit.  We all hugged the bunny, and when I did, it said, "Hi, Allison!"  It was TG.   Which, I didn't know - I asked who it was, and he told me.  I think his parents owned the store.  He was tall, thin and lanky, even then.  I remember him as a quiet, gentle type.

I am having one vague, fuzzy memory of college.  My 21st birthday.  I went out with my roommate and her boyfriend.  It was a Friday night, and like you do on your 21st birthday, I got shitfaced.

They decided I should eat before they took me home, and we stopped at The Grill - an iconic Athens diner.  TG was our waiter...maybe. And he had piercings and was dressed "alternatively".  I ordered toast, and was drunk and friendly and happy to see him, and I feel like he thought I was a conformist.  And to him, I was - but in my sorority, I think they wish I would conform more and/or better.  But here's the thing... was he my waiter?  Or was it another guy who reminded me of him, our classmate PS.  Both of them ended up at UGA, so I can't honestly remember.  I had been drinking.  A LOT.  And this was 20 years ago. It was either one or the other of them... well, either way.

Image result for easter bunny
For Reenactment Purposes Only

That's it - that is all I remember.  An Easter Hug, whole grain toast (maybe), and some vague perceptions.

And now he's gone. 

Obviously, there are hundreds and maybe thousands of lives he touched way more than mine.

I know he will be missed.

He's not the first classmate we lost.  A few to car accidents, one to cancer... and now TG.

And even though it's going to happen more and more in the years that pass, I don't know that I'll ever get used to it.

Love your people, people.