I just found out today that a guy I knew, and used to attend church with, passed away a couple weeks ago. He was only 3 years older than me. Died in his sleep.
Truth is, I hadn't talked to him in years, unless you count a sporadic hello on Facebook. He was a nice guy. In the years I knew him, I don't know that I ever saw him mean to anyone. He was always chatty, and he always had some story that pertained to Iowa. He was from Iowa, and it was always, "Iowa this, and Iowa that..."
The Iowa stories did wear on you after a while.
Life marched on...I stopped going to church. He moved back to Iowa. We were not the closest of friends where we continued lines of communication. The friendship diminished into something more along the lines of "He was this guy I knew once..."
But it still doesn't make his passing any less shocking.
A nice guy, who left behind devoted parents and siblings. A ginormous patchwork quilt of friends. And a metric shitload of Iowa stories.
Rest in peace, Andy.