His name is Jim. He is 43 years old. He is married. He and his wife have two sons, 10 and 12. They are members of our church, attending the 9 o'clock service. Since we attend the noon service, we only see them on the special occasions: the Christmas pajama service, the blessing of the animals, etc. They are strong supporters of the church.
Jim is dead. He suffered a fatal heart attack -- the "widow-maker" -- while on his way home from the East Bay last week.
I don't know him. I don't know his wife. I don't know his kids. I don't know anything at all, really, except that I don't know anything. None of us do.
My life and my family's life are no different since Jim died. I've continued to do battle with my land, clearing the brush. We all went to church. The boys and I fixed up the tree house yesterday, and the three kids played in it for a goodly amount of time. Youngest went swimming. Daughter and Youngest bickered and played together, alternating which, depending on the moment. Pete went on a fundraising bike ride with the boys on Saturday. He and I got to tuck our kids into bed and kiss them goodnight and tell them we love them. We got to do the same with each other.
Across town, two boys and their mother did none of that. Somehow, they got through the weekend, just as they'll get through each and every day after Jim's death. Life will never be the same for them. Damn.
We never know what's going to come next. None of us do.