I was at work yesterday when my phone rings and upon checking the screen, I saw it was my mom calling. From Texas. During what she knows were work hours.
So I answer, figuring it must have been important - but I was not alarmed...
Then she dropped the bomb...
We met Our Friends - or I should say, my parents met Our Friends - almost 30 years ago when they first moved to Texas. My parents had two children under two (my brother and newborn me) and another one very shortly on the way (my little sister.)
Mr. Friend worked with my dad, and their teenage daughter was very quickly tapped for babysitting duties.
We've shared holidays, and sleepovers (their Disney library was the most impressive I've ever seen and has slowly evolved form VHS tapes to DVDs to BluRays). We've shared family birthdays and births as they welcomed a number of grandchildren. We've shared weddings and more holidays, even while separated by 1600 miles, making the cross-country flights without hesitation, because that's what family does.
And yesterday morning, Mrs. Friend got a call from Mr. Friend's job, concerned that he hadn't showed up two hours into the work day.
My mom was calling to tell me that Mrs. Friend found her husband still in bed - he had suffered, and ultimately died, from a massive heart attack that morning.
I have now cried twice ever at work - the first was just days fresh from my d&c when a co-worker was sharing his excitement that another coworker was pregnant with an oopsie.
Mr. Friend has left behind his wife, two children, 6 grandchildren, siblings, nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and life long friends that have come to count themselves as family.
While I'm bummed that I can't fly anywhere, being 4 weeks from a due date, my sister was able to book a flight from Boston for tonight, and my brother already left Washington this morning.
My parents immediately hit the road and traveled the two hours to be with the family - who could use all the peace, thoughts and prayers that can be sent.
I know this community is incredible at extending these things, and for perfect strangers. Thank you for this.