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Yesterday, I went to the wake of my grandmother’s younger brother. Joseph Salzano was 89. He was the father of 6 and the grandfather on many more and from all accounts, he was a pretty good guy.  As we like to say, he had a pretty good run.   I wasn’t close with the man, but my mother loved him and spoke glowingly of him. He grew up during the war, and served his country proudly after the war. In short, it was a life well-lived. A life to be proud of.

When I returned home in the evening, I received word that an old friend had passed away. She was only 47, and she died of a drug OD in Florida. I always knew that I would get the call, but you’re still not prepared when you get it.  She was a beautiful kid, and she was a friend for a long time and for one whirlwind summer, I was in love with her. But the drugs were stronger, and in the end the drugs won out. She lived a tragic life and died a tragic death, leaving behind a 13 year old son. I’m not writing to blame or to judge, merely to point out that life is a series of decisions. We make them every day, and each decision has consequences. I have no answer as to why I was so lucky while so many others around me were never able to get clean, but each time that I get that phone call, I am reminded of the gift that I was given.

Two lives, different directions. This part of the journey is over. Wishing you safe passage on the next leg.

Rest Easy Mo.