Rest easy, my friend. Thanks for the memories.

When I started high school some 25 years ago I had a fear that I would be hunted down like the freshman that I was and subjected to torture by the upperclassmen.

I feared being shoved in lockers, mocked by girls whom I thought were cute, and then left on an island — a castaway, a friendless forgettable face.

None of that ever happened. And part of me credits a friend named Eric, who sadly passed away this week from health complications. He left behind a wife, an unborn child that is due in just a few months, a sister and many relatives.

I came to know Eric very early in my freshman year of high school. He was a senior who had a sister the same grade as me, and Eric and I had two classes together, Geometry (vomit) and bowling (hell yeah!).

Eric was a cool guy who shared same interest as I. He collected basketball cards — I did too at the time — enjoyed wagering a few dollars on various games, and loved sports in general. He wasn’t Mr. Popular, but he was well-known and liked, and being around him in those first few days and months of high school seemingly made me feel at ease. I was no longer worried about the problems listed above — well, save for the girl thing. I always believed that to be the case.

I digress. At the end of Freshman year Eric graduated from high school, along with a few other upperclassmen friends I made, and off he went. I wasn’t sure when I would see or talk to him again.

Remember, this was several years before social media gripped us and ensured that we’d know everything about everyone at all times.

Many years later, we found each other again on Social Media and the friendship was rekindled.

I knew Eric to be a big Giants fan, but I’d come to learn that his fandom was on a different level. He went to Giants games all the time and no longer collected cards, but instead he’d turned his attention to bobbleheads, more specifically those that were given away at the stadium.

Eric and I texted, spoke and messaged each other fairly often in recent years, particularly when it was related to the Giants or collectibles. He wanted my opinion on moves the Giants made, wanted tips on what Giants rookie cards he should collect, and as usual, I was always on the lookout for bobbleheads that he needed for his collection.

Several months ago we met up briefly and he gave me a small box of baseball cards, items he didn’t want anymore. They weren’t rare or even worth a lot. But it was an unsolicited gift, a generous offer that he told me might be fun for my kids and I to go through.

It was after that meeting that he disclosed some health issues but he assured me he was on the mend.

It’s been several months since I’d seen Eric, but we still messaged often. In fact, we spoke just last week.

And then news came down just two days ago that Eric had taken his last breath. He was 41.

Devastating news for sure. And while the shock and pain I feel is real, I can’t imagine the feelings that his family have. Eric you’ll be missed. Thank you for the memories and for having a positive impact on my life. I shall think of you every time I see a San Francisco Giants bobblehead.

One Response to “Rest easy, my friend. Thanks for the memories.”

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