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Friday, May 16, 2008


Death Comes Knocking

I had a bit of news this week. My sister called early-7:30 a.m. early.

“Don’t you know a guy named Mark? Weren’t you and Steve friends with him and his wife?”

We were. I met Victoria, his wife at a radio station where we both worked. I had been promoted to full-time afternoon drive newsperson-she was hired to take my part-time Saturday slot. She was a full-time teacher-I had been a teacher. We had both just become engaged. Victoria to Mark, me (of course) to Steve. We started double dating, discussing our broadcasting careers and planning of our weddings.

Our marriages were 6 weeks apart. We would spend at least one of the weekend evenings at each others homes. We decided to have kids. They passed. When Sarah was born-we saw less of them. Once a month. It was too hard to pack up all the baby stuff and come back in a decent amount of time and then have Steve go to work the next morning. Let alone get up and take care of someone who thought getting up at 6 was sleeping in.

When my pregnancy with Adam put me on bed rest-we saw even less of them. It became apparent that they weren’t “kid” people, despite being school teachers. While I am a real “foodie” and loved to cook-it became a might difficult to do so more than once every couple of months. And it was easier to have them over than to put my parents out to baby-sit or drag over all the needed stuff to them.

Besides, as I mentioned, they weren’t particularly happy with our choice to become parents.

Then came our 8th anniversaries-Mark decided we should all make plans to spend a week at a Sandal’s couples resort. Sounded wonderful-except we didn’t have that kind of money and we thought that good floors for the house we had just moved into were more important.

They resented our “attitude” and the fact that I didn’t want to always play hostess. I had mentioned that since the kids were older that maybe we could trade off now and then. So the “friendship” ended.

Back to the early morning call from my sister Felicia. She called to read me his obituary!
Yes, Mark Workman-age 54 died. He left his wife of 27 years Victoria, his mom and a brother. His father and one brother had preceded him in death.

No cause of death was given. But since the article mentioned he was supposed to take a group of students on a “travel class” to Australia, I’m supposing his demise was NOT expected.

I was surprised at hearing the news. After all, he’s but 4 years older than me.
Did I feel sad? No.

What did I feel? I can explain it in terms of a song from my favorite musical “A Chorus Line”-The character Diana Morales went to the high school of performing arts and had an awful acting teacher. The guy told her she’d never become an actress, never. But she did. The character wasn’t a part time actress or waiting tables. She was doing well.

Then she hears that the teacher had died. He had always berated her for not “showing how the character felt”. So when she hears the news-she relates that for once he was right-“I felt nothing”.

I suppose since we hadn’t seen them in 19 years-feeling nothing is normal.

Isn’t it?

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