The Uncertainty of Life As We Know It

So, two days ago, I was sitting on a planter on Michigan Ave. in downtown Chicago.  I love those moments when life just slows down to a crawl, and you can take time to reflect on things.

I was waiting for my rooommate’s train to come in actually.  It was late, and I told her I would meet her so she wouldn’t have to travel north alone.  Better safe than sorry and all.  So, as I sat there, as often is the case, people began floating through my mind.  People I haven’t spoken to in a bit and such, and my friend Megan came into my head.  I’d spoken to her a day or two before her birthday, which was April 10th.  In the craziness that is the end of the school year, I hadn’t realized that it’d been 2 months since we spoke. So I texted her.  A short time later, my roommate’s train came in, and we headed home.

While on the train, my phone rang and Megan’s number came up.  I immediately smiled.  Megan is one of the people in Alaska whom I truly enjoyed spending time with.  Due to her living in Fairbanks, which is 3 hours from Tok, we didn’t get to hang out often.  However, we texted and chatted fairly regularly.

I met Megan while in Fairbanks. Some friends and I were milling around, and wandered into Big Ray’s where she worked. I wandered into the embroidery department, and she asked me if I needed any help.  I proceeded to strike up a conversation.  From there, she mentioned she was new to Alaska, and had previously lived in Oman, which I thought was cool, and I mentioned I’d been deployed to Afghanistan.  So after talking for a bit, I gave her my number and asked her to call me…which she did.  So we went out on two dates.  They were both fun.  Megan had an awesome smile, and great personality.  Very charming, with the right amount of attitude.

So, when I answered the phone, the last thing I expected to hear was a man’s voice.  The man turned out to be her father.  He proceeded to inform me that Megan died of an accident about a week after her birthday.  I was greatly saddened by the news.   It got me thinking.

I suppose this was, for me, another wake up call.  When my brother died, it was very sudden.  My father’s death was in a similar vein.  I think we greatly underestimate the paths which our lives can take. How quickly they can twist and turn, and even come to an end.

I wrote a letter to Megan’s parents, expressing my condolences and offering a slight reflection on my short friendship with their daughter.  I can only imagine the pain that they’re enduring, and can only hope that kind words and remembrances of Megan can begin to soothe them in this most trying of times.

Megan’s mother emailed me back.  She told me Megan spoke highly of me, and that she had fun when we went out.  She mentioned Megan telling her that we went out for Chinese food, which we did.  That made me smile.

So, the moral of the story is that you never know when tomorrow won’t come.  So, be open, and honest.  Share your thoughts and your feelings.  Talk freely and often with those you enjoy, and don’t waste your time on those who don’t really matter.

Megan will be greatly missed by a lot of people I am sure.  I’m glad that I had the opportunity to meet her, and get to know her.  I hate that such a tragedy had to happen to such a nice person.  However, even in her death, as in life, she has taught me something, and for that, much like the laughs and wonderful conversation, I am eternally grateful.

Megan, you will be missed.
Megan Marie Wachter Obituary 


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