Wednesday, March 03, 2004

A Life Gone By

Man, it’s so hard to go back to work after you’ve had an extended time off. A weekend off and then going back to work I can handle, but when you take more than that off, it becomes a might bit tougher to return to the grind. I took off Friday and Monday so that I could have a nice, long weekend with Kristin since she’s having spring break this week, which I unfortunately do not get to enjoy any more since moving into this so-called real world.

It was quite the enjoyable weekend. I headed up to St. Cloud Thursday after I finished work and spent that night and Friday at her apartment. We used most of the time to just sit around and vegetate. Friday night we took off for the cities to take in a concert at the Quest. We saw Anberlin, Ace Troubleshooter, mewithoutYou, Watashi Wa, and Emery. If you want to check it out, my review of the show should be up at Decoy Music sometime this week. We both really enjoyed the show and Kristin even left with an Anberlin t-shirt in hand.

We got back late Friday night, hung out with Ryan a little bit and hit the hay. Saturday was a fun and relaxing day. Kristin and I mostly played video games with Ryan and put in some time on the four wheelers. It was perfect weather out for it as it was just a little warmer than freezing so the snow was melting, making some nice mud holes, and the icy spots were nice and slick. This was actually the first chance I’ve had to take out the four wheeler this winter and I really had a good time. I’ll have to make sure to set aside some time the next time it gets nice out.

Sunday, we went to church and afterwards my grandma Meyer came over for lunch. Kristin and I cooked spaghetti and garlic toast for the family. It was so tasty! The rest of the day was spent being with my family and then trekking back up to St. Cloud. Monday was spent tooling around St. Cloud and watching the movie Spider. It was a pretty good flick, although a little weird and somewhat slow. I’d recommend it, though. After eating supper I had to drive on back down here to good ‘ol Rochester.

Well, that’s pretty much a quick wrap up of my weekend. I noticed it has been a while since I’ve actually written about what I’ve done so it feels good to test out my memory and see what I can’t remember because it seems that occasionally I forget things that I shouldn’t. I was reminded of one of those things I’d forgotten on my way to work today.

On my way into Rochester, I came up behind a jeep with a window cling in the back window I recognized. It was a remembrance cling that was given out back during my junior year of college after my friend Mike Johnson had passed away. Knowing that it had to be a Hayfield graduate, I pulled up alongside the vehicle to notice that it was Faith Hartson driving. She didn’t look over so I didn’t get a chance to wave, but maybe she recognized the SJU window cling I still have in my rear window.

After having seen Faith and the window cling commemorating Mike, I really thought about how much I’ve simply forgotten about high school and the people I knew back then. After high school I sort of drifted away since I went to SJU up in St. Cloud and the majority of all my friends went to Mankato. They were all there living their lives while I was up at SJU living mine. Occasionally I’d see someone from my class, but not very often. Now, almost five years later, I’m back in Hayfield and I’ve seen some of my high school friends again. Besides Faith, I saw Eaton, Kayleena, Mike Young, and Mike Slowinski at school the other day when I had to pick up my brother from a basketball game.

It seems so different to be seeing all of these people again, especially since I don’t get to really see anyone from college that often anymore. It especially seemed very odd for me to start thinking about Mike again. We were great friends back in high school since we were the two farm kids of our class. We had our share of ups and downs, but through it all we remained close. That is until college came. We still stayed in contact through freshman year, but not as much as we would have liked. Then I got word that he was diagnosed with cancer. Not being one to deal with death and things that cause death very easily, I never made too much of an effort to see him.

In the beginning when you couldn’t really tell anything was wrong I’d try to come in and see him when I could, especially during the farming season since that was one of the big bonds we shared. Then it got to be rough for him and I was usually too chicken to go see him because I didn’t want to be around him with the knowledge everything wasn’t ok. I always made it seem like I was simply too busy, but that was more of a justification to myself. It came to the point where he was facing his last weeks here and I knew I needed to go see him again.

I took off the next Friday night for home. A bunch of Mike’s friends were going to get together with him and hang out, just like the good ‘ol days. Even being as nervous as I was, I actually was looking forward to being there. I managed to get worked up to seeing him and became very anxious on the ride home. When I got home, before I took off to Mike’s place, my parents told me that he had passed away during my trip home. It was kind of like a sledgehammer to the face and didn’t know how to react. That day was on my mind quite a bit for the next couple of months.

Eventually, I must have filed it away into the back of my mind, but seeing the window cling about him today stirred everything back up again. I guess even though I don’t really feel like I miss high school any more, I do realize that it was a very important time for me. The friends from that time have meant a lot to me. Who knows, now that I’m back around in the area maybe I’ll run into them more, or I might not, but at least it’s giving me something to think about.

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