Gone Too Soon

I was sitting home on Friday night and virtually socializing on Facebook while listening to Beachfrontradio.com. All was good in my world. It had been a satisfying work week, my Uncle is in town for the weekend and I was looking forward to spending time with him and, well, it was just nice. And peaceful.

Then I saw a post from one of my Parrot Head friends and the nice evening went to hell and took me with it.

Her husband had an apparent heart attack that day and didn't survive.

I was, and still am, in complete shock. Allan, Penny and their daughter Gabby have been my Meeting of the Minds friends and co-workers since I started working registration for the convention. Gabby started out as a young girl helping out and has become a young lady so sufficient that we can feel completely secure in leaving her in charge. They all worked the Goody Bag Stuffing, helped fold t-shirts and Allan worked security while Penny helped out at registration, too.

They also managed to have a lot of fun. Gabby's a really good musician and she jams on stage with Trop Rock performers. Allan was always there to record her and published the videos for us to see. He was so very proud of Gabby and rightfully so. He and Penny did a great job raising her.

I just can't fathom that Allan's gone and that I won't have him joking about my ever changing hair color from year to year or get to see his latest tattoo or know that I don't have to worry about the back room registration options because he had everything running smoothly.

It sucks. I feel sucker punched and I know I'm not alone. He touched so many lives and will be greatly missed.

I also can't fathom how Penny and Gabby feel. I lost a friend, they lost a husband and father. My heart aches for them.

Losing Allan brings back the pain from losing other friends. Craig, Lexy and Eric have been in my thoughts since that moment on Friday night. Especially Eric. (I miss him so much.) So has my friend, Danny. The difference with Danny and Lexy is that they were ill and we knew it was coming. With Craig, Eric and Allan, it was completely a stunning surprise. Three people who appeared to be healthy and had wonderful futures ahead of them were taken from us too early.

Life goes on but the hole left in our hearts and lives from those who have left will never be filled. That makes me sad and it makes me angry. And, ultimately, there's nothing I can do about it except cherish and honor their memories and make more memories with the people still with me that we can use for comfort when needed in the future. I just hope that future is far away.

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