Today I had lunch with a dead man.
Well, he wasn’t actually dead. Not anymore at least. (No, this is not a paranormal story.)
I’ve known my Steve for almost 20 years. And it was only an accident of time and space that prevented us from knowing each other even longer. We have both been in the IT world for nearly as long as the IT world has been around.
Steve and I used to be neighbors. We lived a block from each other in Pleasant Grove. We both moved. I moved to a different location in Pleasant Grove. Steve moved to California. But, he still had a house here in Utah. He travelled back and forth a lot.
We would meet for lunch when he was in town. Typically once a month.
And then COVID hit. As you remember, no one went anywhere. We all holed up in our houses only venturing out for a trip to the store, or maybe a forbidden night out to eat. With proper social distancing, of course.
As you might imagine, when two old friends get together after not seeing each other for a year, we had a lot to catch up on. I have three kids on missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We both have new grandkids.
And then there was COVID. My lovely wife and son were infected about a year ago. With plenty of oxygen for my lovely wife, she did okay. My son, was one of those with no symptoms.
We all got vaccinated. And so far have managed to avoid the Delta Variant.
Steve wasn’t so lucky. He got sick prior to the vaccines being available. But, he was terribly sick. he recovered. Then the vaccines were available. And then Delta Variant hit him and his wife. And did he die? No, but he was sure that’s where he was going to end up.
He lost a lot of weight. He lost his sense of taste and smell. He flirted with the edge of death for three days.
I told the story of a young friend who passed from COVID. He talked about the death of his father-in-law, not from COVID, actually. I thought about my own sister who passed away last year from a fall.
We talked about the fickle nature of this insidious disease. My coworkers lost parents in the past year. Today I heard that an old family friend, one that helped me as a teenager, passed from COVID.
Steve is a different person than the last time we had lunch. He no longer watches the news. He spends more time with his family. He does more hiking and camping.
I realized that I’m not the man I was either. All of us, the entire world, have been changed. We are painfully aware that life is short and tomorrow is never guaranteed.
My friend didn’t die from COVID, but it absolutely changed him. Almost a rebirth.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
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