Did I keep your beer as full as mine?

Last Friday, my co-worker lost his 19 year-old son. He died at home, found collapsed on the floor. He had spoken to his Mom at 2PM, and then spoke with a friend at 3PM to make plans for the evening. By the time his mother returned at 5PM, she found him. Three hours earlier they were joking on a phone call. Now he was dead. He was their only child.

As I was told this on Monday morning, it was hard to fathom. His son had worked part-time for our company on occasion. I had seen him. I had given him rides to the train station. I had drinks with his Dad the evening before his death. And just that quickly, he was gone. In the email that notified us, the sender let us know that our co-worker (his Dad), ever conscious of others, implored us all to go to our families and hug the people we cared about, and let them know how much we loved them.

Our office has been eerily silent the past couple of days. Pretty much our whole office attended the wake, and a majority attended the funeral today. As I hugged him at the wake, I thought of my daughters and the pain he must of been going through with his loss. No parent should ever outlive their child. As I left, I looked at the picture collages, and one special collage that my co-worker had put together. It was all the concert tickets for concerts they had gone to together. There were a lot of them. It was very apparent that they enjoyed music together, that was their thing, a special father-son bonding.

I know it’s clichĂ© to say to hug your kids and cherish every day, but it’s true. Don’t waste the time you have. Someday, when you least expect it, you may be wishing for more.

As I was listening to my ipod on the train last night, the song I’m Dying Tomorrow by Alkaline Trio came on. I’ve always thought of it as kind of a morbid song, but for some reason, as I listened, I really felt that it was a song of hope. A song that makes you think “If I died tomorrow, would I be happy with what I’ve done?” If the answer is No, then get working on it. I know I’ve got some things I need to do, even if they are as simple as going out and feeling the rain on my face, and filling up your beer.

…Did I at least try to kiss the prettiest girl
At the right time?
Did I remember to keep your beer as full as mine?
Did I? Did I?
Did I remember to say cheers?
Did I at least try to make sure everybody had a good time?
Had the best time?
Did I remember to stay up late?
Drinking for the fun?
Singing for the taste?
Did I run outside to kiss the rain
Under electrical skies?
Did I remember to keep your beer as full as mine?
Did I? Did I?
Did I remember to say cheers?
Did I at least try to make sure everybody had a good time?
Had the best time?

I’m dying tomorrow
This house, this street, Chicago
I’m dying tomorrow
Did I do it right?