I logged on to facebook last night to quickly leave a birthday message for my step-daughter only to instead be stunned by news of the tragic and untimely death of an old friend.
I haven't seen him in many years, our lives went in different directions and we lost touch. I'm sure that is a story familiar to many of us. Yet every friend, no matter how brief our acquaintance, touches our life in profound ways. We may lose touch and forget about the friendship but these people are threads which link us to the past. The severing of one of those threads sends ripples across the still waters of time; it disturbs the store of memories, shaking things up and bringing long forgotten events to the fore.
We were just teenagers when our shared past was created. We frequented bars and nightclubs we weren't old enough to be in; we got drunk on Thunderbird in the park; we sat in a city centre cafe on a Saturday afternoon making one cup of coffee last for hours; we had fun as teenagers should.
Today I've spoken to long lost friends who shared that connection. We've shared our memories and we have cried and we have laughed. This afternoon we sit in our homes many miles apart and we will all raise a glass to the memory of someone we once knew and cared about. We remember how he always had a kind word and time for others, how he transcended friendship groups and seemed to fit in with everyone, and hopefully we'll take those things forward with us and make a little part of him live on.
Rest In Peace Mark. Thank you for the memories.