I was browsing through Facebook today and saw a post from Shelly Kramer that made me think of a poem I found in high school and kept in a notebook… then eventually transferred to a Word doc.. and I’ve had it on my computer(s) since college. It always along for the ride whenever I upgrade.
Tuesday the 6th I woke up at 11:30 with a slight pain in my abdomen. 5 hours later it was an intense pain that felt like someone was stabbing my under the rib cage and twisting the knife. So off we went to the ER at 4:30 in the morning where I learned I was having a pretty major gallbladder attack. I was admitted and 24 hours later my gallbladder was removed.
I’ve debated writing this post for over a year. Almost 2 years now. It’s something I’ve only shared with a few people. Ever. And something I didn’t think I’d post or talk about publicly. Three things changed my mind.
As I was landing in San Diego on Monday morning, I saw someone wearing a shirt with the Google marker symbol (you know, the one on the left there) and underneath it said “I am here.” Witty. Of course you are. But as I gave it more thought, I began to wonder – sure you’re here. But are you HERE.
I met my friend Jake in October of 2000 when I moved to Chicago. He was an up-beat show-tune loving copy writer at an agency. And I was moving there to work at an agency.
I’m in the airport in San Diego right now – and the girl beside me was just typing away in her Keller School of Management forum about taxes. I couldn’t help but read over her shoulder (don’t like it? Get a privacy filter).
It’s been just shy of 2 weeks now since Jason died (yes, I say died – as a good friend put it, he didn’t “pass away.” That’s too passive. He went kicking and screaming). And I’ve been doing a lot of thinking; Sharing some here, sharing some with people in person and some only with myself. But the thing I realized this week is that Jason taught me a LOT. For a 29 year old, he sure had his priorities straight.
I’ve been fortunate in my nearly 40 years to have never truly experienced the phenomenon of emotional pain manifesting itself as physical pain. Until this week.
There’s a lot of debate in the world about how you measure a man – number of friends? Wealth? Influence? Power? No one seems to really land on the right measure. For me, knowing one man for the last 4 years has definitively answered that question.
My friend Jason Schippers died on Sunday. He was 29. After being ill off and on he went into surgery last Friday to try to find a root cause and hopefully correct the issues he was having. Saturday I had a chance to visit him thanks to his very loving family – and talk to him a bit. I even got the chance to tell him I loved him. Talk with him about when he’s better; leaving the hospital. He even tweeted: