Sunday, August 28, 2005

I Can Now Google Rodney W. Norman and Get a Hit

Sunny Hi 115 Lo 86 for Baghdad, Iraq
Sunny Hi 90 Lo 67 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: Don't Cry, Seal

Folks, this past week has been such a weird one for me... I have several things that I want to write about, I'm going to do my best to touch on all of them. Hopefully my usual ramble won't be too much of a ramble, if you know what I mean... so far, I'm off to a bad start...

I don't write about work at all... until now... Number one, its simply bad form... I like my job for the most part (military sales), but a lot of what occurred this week revolves around work... (see too much rambling again...)

Two of my favorite people in the whole world were in town this week. Both are sales guys... one calls New York home--a diehard Yankees fan that drinks Ketel One on the rocks w/ 3 olives on the side and is most likely related to Nickie Goomba. The other calls the bayous of Baton Rouge home. He is a crawfish eatin', Crown Royal drinkin' boy who can't get enough of LSU football. We were all forced-- I mean requested to attend a company function on Tuesday night... rah rah... It was great... I missed something that night that I really wanted to participate in, but we all do what we have to do...

Wednesday night, Michael and I took the boys out to dinner... these two fellows couldn't be more different and yet they are so much fun to be with. If you were at Bonefish Grill on Wednesday night, I would like to apologize for any loud or vulgar conversation you may have been forced to endure.

Thursday, 2 VP's from my company (don't get excited, we have as many VP's as I have shoes... ) came by to inform me and my cubicle partner that Congressman Davis was visiting us on Friday and they wanted to bring him round to meet us... How cool is that? Long story, short... I was able to discuss with Congressman Davis some things very close to my heart, namely our shrinking fleet (not withstanding the DDX or Littoral programs), our military, and homeland security. He gave both of us his business card, he told us that if we ever wanted to go to Washington, he would see to it that we would get a tour. He spoke to everyone at our company and did not back off any issues. He made it quite clear where he stood on them as well. I've already sent him a note thanking him for his time. (yeah... I'm a suck up).

Friday was my boss' last day being my boss... She is relocating to be with family. She has been a great mentor, a superior boss, and a dear friend. I shall miss her.

Now, I suppose you are thinking... "What is so weird about this week, Cath?" Well, I'm getting to that... Monday morning, as we stumbled in to work, bleary eyed and wishing it were still Sunday, one of the guys from my product team came over and told me that the husband of one of our co-workers had committed suicide over the weekend. That'll put a huge cloud over a place... So, admidst all the activity of the week, we were all deeply saddened by this news.. a memorial service and funeral... of a hanging victim... victim... who is the victim? And that brings me to what I really want to write about... (sorry, Michael-- I need to get this out of my system..)

A very close friend of mine committed suicide on August 8, 1996. He was an amazingly talented artist. He was funny, handsome, and bright and curious about everything. He had a very promising future. In preparing for this blog, I Googled his name and got over 800,000 hits. I quite literally went through the first 100 pages searching. The closest I came was finding his mom's address. There is no sign of him, not even an obituary... nothing... It's as if he never existed... But of course he did exist and he continues to exist in the hearts and minds of those that loved him and continue to ask themselves to this day, why?

One of my fondest memories of Rodney was a New Year's Eve when Michael and I had first started dating. I don't want to rehash the good times though. After 9 years I'm still pissed off at him. What a waste...All the guilt that people are still carrying around...All the unanswered questions...All the what ifs...

The circumstances surrounding his suicide were bizarre, although after a lot of reading, not uncommon. I don't know if anything ever came of some of the theories... I don't care and it doesn't matter at this point. He was found with a noose around his neck hanging. That doesn't happen accidentally. He left so many people that loved him. Rodney was a friend. He probably took more than he gave, but he needed more than the rest of us and we were all happy to oblige. I don't know what caused him to go through with it. It wasn't the first time. I just read through this and it still doesn't cover the emotions you feel when someone leaves you in this manner. Anger, sorrow, regret, betrayal, remorse, heartache, heartbreak, disgust, deception... when happy memories surface, you second guess yourself... What did I miss? What could I have done? The answer is nothing. I did everything I could. I was always available to him emotionally, financially, whatever he needed... I was there to help. He knew that. He called me from a pay phone as he was bleeding from his 2nd attempt. We tried to get him help.
So, again, after nine years I think about all the things he would have loved-- what a pity... He isn't here to enjoy them. He would have turned 40 this past February. Chances are we would have lost touch and grown apart in time as childhood friends do... His political views were already very different from mine and that always makes for difficult relations when you have 2 passionate people on opposing ends of the spectrum... However, I could have lived with that. He would have been safely stashed in my memory banks, but instead I'm given this awful nightmare of him hanging himself... snapping his neck and suffocating...

Here is some perspective for you. Rodney, this is what you have missed. I picked these because you would have loved talking about this stuff...sharing your opinion and reading like a fiend to get all the geeky details on some of this.
After you killed yourself in 1996-

Everybody Loves Raymond, Spin City & Dexter's Laboratory all debuted, Independence Day, Jerry Maguire both were in the theaters, Jon Benet Ramsey was found murdered, Princess Diana and Prince Charles divorced.
nearly 2000 pieces of art in French museums were discovered to be stolen by the Nazis, Heavens Gate Suicides took place, Tony Blair became Prime Minister, Princess Diana died, Aerosmith Nine Lives is released, King of the Hill, Johnny Bravo, Teletubbies and Southpark debuted, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published.
We heard the words "vast right wing conspiracy" for the first time, Monica Lewinsky, blue dress, Google was founded, John Glenn went back into space on Space Shuttle Discovery making him the oldest guy in space, Saving Private Ryan, There's Something About Mary, Life is Beautiful, Rushmore, and Gods and Monsters were in theaters, That 70's Show and The Powerpuff Girls debuted, I'm an aunt for a second time.
Y2K preparation, The Euro was introduced, Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic joined NATO (you would have loved that), Star Wars Episode 1, 6th Sense, Blairwitch Project, American Beauty were movies you would have loved, Woodstock '99 (you would have trashed that), Leonardo de Vinci's Last Supper was put back on display after 20+ years of restortation, Spongebob Squarepants and The Sopranos debuted, Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France.
internet explosion in technology, blogs..., digital cameras, LCD, hybrid cars, wireless everything, TiVo, SPACESHIP ONE, MARS EXPLORATION ROVER, reality tv, Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, GW elected 2x's, Bob Hope died, Pope John Paul II died, President Reagan died, our 20th high school class reunion, THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY, I'm an aunt for a 3rd(1/1/00), 4th and soon to be 5th time, turning 40, and of course... 9/11...

So, my point... I always have to have a point. I cry for my co-worker and her family and his family and all the friends and everyone that knew him. He has caused more grief than can be realized. What a selfish act. I pray for all of them. I pray that God took pity on him. I wish he would have given life another day, things are never that bad.

You know, I don't want to hear about him anyway... He was only thinking of himself. If he were thinking of others he would never have done this...

And Rodney, I still miss you and I still ask why? I still ask what could I have done to help and I'm so sorry I let this happen to you...

Alright... time to lighten up, Go to Front Doors. I think you'll enjoy this blog.

A close and dear friend has started a blog. I think you will enjoy his perspective on life. Check it out. Major Star Wars geek. (geek = term of endearment)

Something Michael does for me just about every morning is send me an email that has a warm fuzzy to make sure I start my day off right... its usually some baby animal... and since my blog is so depressing this week, I thought I'd end with this... courtesy of Michael.

Military Mascots- a good cause too.

Have a great week everyone.


Marti said...

Cathy, a hug for You, You are a great true friend. Much Love, Marti

Cathy said...

Thanks, Marti. Hugs to you too.