As the years go by I become more and more aware that time appears to be moving much more quickly and only gaining speed. I’m glad that I realized this early on and make the effort to write down my thoughts and post my pictures. By doing this I’m keeping a record of my journey through life which I hope will be preserved for eternity; it is something that those in the future can look back upon for entertainment or even to study what life was like for a person alive from 1977-?.
Looking around it seems people walk in a daze, completing one task after another and never focusing on the moment. Each day is a gift and should be savored and appreciated. But even if we are able to slow down and appreciate that which surrounds us, our memories are not very good and although we can remember some things we’ll forget much about our own lives; it is as though we’re reading a book but towards the end only remember the chapter title and a paragraph or two. I want to remember everything and be able to read my own story. I want to feel again long gone emotions such the excitement/fear of a first day of school, a first date, getting in trouble, graduating, or a new love.
At 38 years old many of my old acquaintances seem to have forgotten the friendships we once had a decade or two ago. They have turned into something different and this something different, these formal, reserved, adults appear to have a faulty memories. I’ve learned that friendships, just like most things in life, degrade without constant care and attention.
I’ve heard the saying that if you only have two or three good friends in life you’ve done very well. I never really believed this quote but now think I understand what it means. The destroyer of everything, time, also eats at friendships until there is nothing but an outline, a husk of what once was. Many of my old friends are now more foreign to me than acquaintances I’ve only met once after coming to San Francisco.
There are those however, just a couple of dots in the mosaic of a lifetime of friendships, that remain bright and that time is having difficulty wearing down. Those are my true friends and I’m very grateful to have met them. But even these true friends do not actively reach out very often. I find that the catch up letters, the phone calls and such no longer happen. With social media we are able to passively keep in touch with minimal effort. Unfortunately doing it this way is like a splash of water on the face when I was hoping to dive into the deep end, to really feel the chilly water completely and exhilaration it brings with such a rapid temperature change. But perhaps it is not the technology but simply that people get old, they forget and become very different people with each additional life experience.
I did not really set out to make this post about recording my own life. Instead I meant for it as a way to remember a few others. At 38 years, the number of old acquaintances passing away is starting to increase and is serving as a very stark reminder that life is just a blink, a very short transfer-station on an eternal train ride whose immensity and grandeur cannot be comprehended on this Podunk stop. For most of my life I had only one friend pass away. Then in my early thirties learned there were two others.
It was put out of my mind until the death of my childhood neighbor which I wrote about here. His death really hit me hard even though I hadn’t seen him in almost a decade. Then I return to Ohio this past May and learn of two more!
So, I’d just like to remember them here as a tribute, a way to send leave an eternal message on the internet, that they are not forgotten and even though we hadn’t spoken in almost two decades I enjoyed meeting them and hope they are well wherever they are.
1. Brad Stischok– I worked with Brad at my high school summer job doing maintenance for a golf course. Returning home I saw his Dad who still works there, said hi and inquired about Brad. It was then that I learned he had passed away in 2006 which left me speechless. I was so shocked and unsure of what to say next that even though I wanted to know more and let him know how much I enjoyed working with Brad I did not want to cause him any further distress or pain so just offered my condolences and left it at that.
So Brad, I cannot believe you are gone. I knew you briefly and frankly want to call you a BIG dufus for going and dying at such an early age. I don’t know how you passed and maybe never will but I still want to smack you on the head for going and doing that. People miss you; you were a great guy and I won’t forget the fun we had working together.
STISCHOK William Bradley “Brad” Stischok, age 30, of Columbus, passed away unexpectedly Sunday, January 1, 2006. He was a Sales Representative for Hill Distributing, a 1999 graduate of The Ohio State University. Brad was an avid Buckeye fan and loved to golf. He was Vice President of Colony Hill III Recreation Association and a member of Xenos Christian Fellowship Church. Preceded in death by his daughter Kiersten Lynn, grandparents George Manicho and Matt and Bertha Stischok, uncle Ray Stischok. Survived by his wife, Chrissy; children, Jacob and Makayla; parents, Bill and Marilyn Stischok; sister, Kim (Michael) Graham; grandmother, Midge Tiberi; mother- and father-in-law, Sandy and Chuck Tincher; sisters-in-law, Missy (Guy) Grinstead and Stephanie (Bob) Murgatroyd; life-long friend, Kenny Gardner; numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends. Friends may visit on Wednesday, January 4, 2006 from 4-8 p.m. at the SPENCE-MILLER FUNERAL HOME, 2697 Columbus St., Grove City, where funeral will be held 10 a.m Thursday. Pastor John Cleary will be officiating. Interment Sunset Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, family request donations for Jacob and Makayla’s college education fund, c/o National City Bank.
2. Erik Falasca – Erik, I worked with you at the Grandview library in the audio/visual section when I was in college; I’m sure you’ll remember me if you think back and concentrate. We once had a discussion with Greg that there is no way one should prefer to watch a sports game than have sex. Greg told us that once a man turns 30 his priorities change. We’ll I’m now 38 and I think that opinion is just as insane if not more-so as I did when I was 18. Vita and Karen were are other two co-workers but they didn’t participate in that discussion I’m quite sure. It was during that time period when the library first got Windows 95 computers, we thought they were completely awesome.
I learned you had passed visiting Trinity school when I read the plaque on the new pavilion near the entrance which to my utter shock had your name. I wonder what it was that took you away at such a young age and regret that you are gone. You were always a great person, upbeat, happy, positive and just a pleasure to be around. If death were fair, he would do well to take the sour, nasty people first instead of people like you. It might be terrible to say that but so what, it’s true.
Falasca Erik A. “Stavros” Falasca, age 37, passed away on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at his residence with his family at his side. Erik graduated from Grandview Heights High School, The Ohio State University and Emporia State. A dedicated employee of E-Tech Ohio, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus and St. Christopher Parish. He is preceded in death by his grandparents Giovanna and Carmine Mosca and Rosa and Sabatino Falasca and his aunt Silvia Valerio. He is survived by his wife, Oana; daughter, Calina Maria; parents, Armando and Elva Falasca; sisters, Mia (Brian) Gentile and Tina (Tom) Kistner; nephews, Roman and Nathaniel; niece, Giovanna; aunts, Rita (Vincent) DiSante and Mirella Duffey; uncle, Mario (Clara) Mosca; many cousins and friends. Friends may call SUNDAY (today) September 15, 2013 from 5-8 p.m. at the JOHN QUINT TREBONI FUNERAL HOME, 1177 W. Fifth Avenue. Funeral Mass 10 a.m., MONDAY, September 16, 2013 at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, 1559 Roxbury Road, Columbus. In lieu of flowers, friends who wish may contribute in memory of Erik to Trinity School, 1440 Grandview Avenue, Columbus, OH 43212 or Catholic Charities Our Daily Bread, 725 The Fallsway, Baltimore, MD 21202. Condolences may be sent viawww.johnquint.com