And then there were two…

I sit here pondering life and the loss of life. The fragility of life. The joys that come to us in life, as well as the sorrows, and the pain. And the relative pettiness of the “affronts” we received from each other – all during the sometimes brief intersection of our lives with those of others. It’s odd to me how some seem to focus on the affronts in life more than those joys. Blessed are those who see the balanced view; those of us who focus only on the joys are destined for disappointment, and those who focus only on the affronts are destined for loneliness and regret…

So what has precipitated this introspection? Nick Mason, Ron and Joan’s youngest son, and Kim’s brother passed away unexpectedly Monday afternoon. Per the neighbors, he was out cutting the lawn, then they heard the lawnmower stop and he was face-down in the grass. By the time EMS arrived, it was too late. It may have been too late even if they had been on site when he fell – we don’t know. I suspect either a heart attack or a stroke, but I am leaning toward the former.

Nick and I had a rough start when Kim and I met. I was nearing graduation with my electrical engineering degree – something he wanted but couldn’t afford – and he suspected that I had had my way paid for me. When Kim let him know that I worked upwards of 80 hours a week to pay for it, and, therefore, took 8 years to achieve it, his attitude toward me changed drastically and we became very close, often doing things, just him and I.

Over the years, we had drifted apart, and, when he and his wife divorced, he slipped deeply into alcoholism, and his life pretty much came apart. I lost patience with Nick a few years back when he was in town for Christmas: Kim went to visit him at her parents’ house about a week before Christmas, and I did not see her again until Christmas day, both of them on some sort of bender.

The final straw for Nick and I was his father’s funeral when he did not show up for any of it, the bottle being seemingly more important.

It pains me that those final two “auspicious events” frame my remembrance of Nick, despite all of the good memories; all of the fun stuff. It pains me more that he’s gone and there is no longer any opportunity to rebuild.

In just over two years, four of the six-member Mason family have left us. RIP, Nick. I’m sorry we didn’t finish better.

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