Home > A candle extinguished

A candle extinguished

December 5th, 2018 at 01:52 am

Me and Ron, Luzern, Switzerland, 1987, in front of the famous Lion of Luzern.

Today around 5 pm I got a phone call on my cell, but since so few people have my number, I mostly don't answer, because it's spammers, usually.

Then I saw it was my friend's niece. I called her back, thinking that my friend R. had been in really tough shape when I saw him Friday.

She told me he died. The rest of what she said was a blur; I'm not even sure if it was today or yesterday. I guess it was the pneumonia, not the cancer, because he was having a lot of trouble breathing, even with the oxygen tube.

I feel very sad that in the end, a nurse held his hand in the hospital. None of his family was there.

He was one of those larger-than-life people, and he had such a big impact on my life; that's why it came as such a shock that he died. Even though he's been fighting metastatic prostate cancer since his diagnosis in 2008, I thought he would pull off a recovery and hang around a while longer.

He was always the one to take charge, run the show, step up to the plate, organize the day or a trip to Paris. Intelligent, witty, a great conversationalist with a soft spot for old people and his one and only dog, he spent much of his time in retirement volunteering at a helicopter museum and teaching kids how to drive. He spoke fluent German, which really came in handy during our trips abroad. Once, when we were disembarking from the plane and headed for the terminal, fatigued and glad to be on US soil again, he broke out singing God Bless America, creating ripples of laughter among the other passengers. He could wow a crowd with an impromptu stint at the piano.

Years ago, when he picked me up one day for a date, he suggested picking up my grandmother and taking her out for a drive in the country and an ice cream cone. She loved him for it, and so did I. More recently, he organized several day-long road trips with my dad to show him what Connecticut looks like after dad moved up here from New Jersey to be closer to me and my sister. During one of those road trips, he thoughtfully arranged a stop at a summer German festival where we enjoyed schnitzel and sauerkraut while watching the polka dances.

We often clashed and had disagreements, but we always found a way to tell each other "Friends forever." And so we were.

22 Responses to “A candle extinguished”

  1. Laura Zotos Says:

    I am very sorry to read about the loss of your friend. May he rest in peace.

  2. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. Frown

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    I'm sorry for your loss, PS. I know he was a big part of your life. May your wonderful memories sustain you in your grief.

  4. Dido Says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. That unexpected news is such a sucker punch to the gut. I’m glad you spent time with him so recently. May his memory be a blessing.

  5. My English Castle Says:

    So hard to lose a friend with whom she shared so many memories.

  6. CB in the City Says:

    I'm sorry you've lost your friend.

  7. LuckyRobin Says:

    Oh, I'm sorry. You always spoke so highly of him. It was clear how much you valued that friendship. I love the picture. It is interesting to see what you looked like in 1987.

  8. Laura S. Says:

    I am so sorry.

  9. Davera Says:

    What an elegant tribute to a beautiful human being. May Ron rest in peace and live in your heart forever.

  10. Carol Says:

    I'm sorry for your loss. Ron sounded like a lot of fun to be around. Take care of yourself.

  11. Turtle Lover Says:

    I'm sorry for your loss. I do appreciate all the posts you share -- sounds like you had a nice friend. ((hugs))

  12. rob62521 Says:

    I'm very sorry for your loss. It sounds like he was a wonderful friend and you two were good for each other.

  13. Wink Says:

    What a wonderful picture! I'm very sorry for the loss of your dear friend.

  14. Petunia 100 Says:


    So sorry for your loss. Ron sounds like a considerate, kind person. There aren't enough of those to go around.

  15. livingalmostlarge Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Sounds like a great guy.

  16. kashi Says:

    I'm so sorry for your loss. May your happy memories together give you comfort in the days ahead.

  17. ThriftoRama Says:


  18. Homebody Says:

    I am very sorry for your loss. At the same time it scared me a bit, as my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer in July, just a few months before his 60th birthday.

  19. PatientSaver Says:

    I'm so sorry to hear that, Homebody. The good news is that prostate cancer is very slow growing, and caught early enough, the prognosis is very good. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, poor diet is the major risk factor for prostate cancer. And there is much your husband can do moving forward to support recovery and good health.

  20. PatientSaver Says:

    My friend was a lifelong "picky eater" who mainly ate fast food, avoided vegetables and loved things like burgers and pizza.

  21. ceejay74 Says:

    I'm just seeing this, and I'm so sorry... I could tell from years of blog posts how much he meant to you.

  22. Thrifty Ray Says:

    I am so sorry about your friend...{{hugs}} friend.

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