Posted by: suek2001 | October 27, 2014

“…raised in hard times but I Had a good life…”

As I sit in my living room, I am watching two giant ore boats come into the Duluth Harbor….on this morning it seems almost surreal…

19 years ago this morning I was all dressed up to for the inauguration of our new college president, Dr. Gordon Anderson. I was hoping to meet up with my best friend Dennis, that morning…and yet, I didn’t see him there…I figured he must have overslept…So, I went about that day thinking that it was an ordinary Friday..except no school.

There was a transit strike around that time, so I had to take a part time job cleaning the ladies’ dormroom restrooms…a job I really didn’t like and really wasn’t great at but still, money was money.. I recall I did chat a lot with the girls in their dorm rooms…strange for me because I was a shy girl about a year before..and here I was opening up to people…

I was on my way out the door to work around 6pm but first went over to Dennis’ apartment…and then my life changed…

I found him dead on the floor..something that has never left me…it seemed too weird for him to be dead..I just saw him alive two days prior. He had a bit of a cold but he was okay overall..

Still, the autopsy revealed he died due to lack of insulin for his diabetes….He was 43 years old…

Fast forward to now…I just turned 43 a month ago…and I wonder what it all means…I am a ponderous person but I’m not so keen on pondering his death anymore…I carried that time like a weird badge of honor of survival..and yet, that time of grief has come to mean less and less to me..His life meant more…and his death altered my life…

If Dennis had lived…that’s a phrase I’ve uttered quite a few times…if he had lived, where would I be? Where would he be? Would I still be that awestruck girl ready to follow the first guy that paid attention to her? Would I realize that my dreams and plans needed fulfilment or would I mesh my dreams to his?

I have no idea…and I’m not sure I want to know…Dennis’ death was a tragedy that I have written about often..His life was a glorious chapter in my life and in others…

All I know is that the exact memories of that last week of his life are quietly fading from my brain…His death haunts my soul to be sure but as the years pass and my life becomes my own, it seems less important…as the older I get the more I realize that he was merely a chapter in the middle of a great story..a great chapter but not the ending..

Nineteen years ago tonight, I thought it was the ending…it was merely the begining of a different road to walk…..

I love my life as it is now…I still wonder if I should be married with kids but I love that I live in Duluth…my soul loves it here…my heart loves my friends and my glorious apartment…my faith loves my God and the church He gave me..

When I think of these past 19 years, friends and family have come and gone and their memories remain but above all this…I feel love…a strong love from God, from my Mom…from my friends..from my Church..and a love for all my new friends from an experience called The Kingston Trio Fantasy Camp.

If I could step into that hallway 19 years ago, I would tell myself that even though the pit of lonliness will feel deep, there is a bottom and you WILL climb out….

Dennis would be thrilled with my life..I know he would. He would rejoice in the joy I have in my life in Duluth and I cannot wait to see him again in the next world to tell him how much I miss him..and thank him for his life…and yes, for his death…

I know both of these things weren’t supposed to be about me but his life AND death had their impact….and I wouldn’t trade that for the world…


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