Todd Rundgren came on the radio, and there you were too. More than forty years gone and I still see your third grade smile as we walked across campus laughing. Our friendship was fast, but never furious and in the pre-internet world it was easy to drift apart and lose contact.
I had the luck to meet another friend who hailed from your neck of the woods; she found your address the old-fashioned way-- in the local phone book. With pen in hand, I wrote pages filling you in on all that had happened in the three years we hadn't connected: I was 24, I was married, and we bought a house!
Not too long after I found a letter in my mailbox. The elation I felt was soon followed by despair. You'd passed away in your sleep two years before, due to causes still unknown. Your mother's letter broke my heart. You were only 22, had a life and dreams ahead, were planning a trip to Finland with your mom— and then you were gone.
I wept for you and your life cut short. I wept for your mother and making her revisit her pain two years after that devastating blow. I wept for myself and the loss of my friend.
You used to love Todd Rundgren back then. But his words have new meaning when viewed with ancient eyes. You know that I'd be with you if I could, is possible only in memory. Hello, It's Me will always make me think of you, smiling your third grade smile.