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We Always Think there is Time

June 17, 2007

With Journey blaring in the background, the screen abruptly turned black and the show that has been compared to the modern day equivalent of Shakespeare ended on HBO. The Soprano’s ended with little resolution, conclusion or tidy endings found on other hit TV shows like Friends, Sex in the City, or Seinfeld. And it was perfect.

I have often said to my friends that life very rarely concludes nice and tidy. Tully’s Girl moved away one day. I never broke up with Katie. The last time I saw some people was at their wedding. I have co-workers I never said goodbye to. I think the reason we never finish things in our lives is that we always think there is time. Time to tell our friends the impact they had on our lives, time to forgive our parents or we think that we will see people again no matter how unlikely the possibility. Like the ending of the Soprano’s, things just end and move on without conclusion. That is life.

This idea hit home hard the other day when I heard that my homecoming date’s father died last week. Ken Waller was 53. When the planning for homecoming started to get underway in the fall of 1999, he joked with me that he was going to bring out his shotgun when I picked up Enid. He helped me craft my leadership skills and was a strong male role model when my father left. The last time I saw him was at Lindsey’s wedding last August. We exchanged pleasantries and I would have never known that would be the last time I would talk to him. What makes me disappointed is that I never told Ken how much respect I had for him. Even when I saw him at Lindsey’s wedding, I thought there was time. Ken died in his sleep. So one late evening in June, he closed his eyes for the last time and without resolution, conclusion or a goodbye, things went abruptly black. Wherever you are Ken, I hope you are well.

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