Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

exits off the tollway

On September 25, 1987, I received a message at work, written by a secretary on one of those little blue message forms. The message was "It's a boy!!". Although my sister-in-law's pregnancy made a birth announcement an inevitability, the exact time was a surprise. I immediately left work to drive up the Dallas North Tollway, where I exited on the Trinity Mills Parkway exit in Richardson and headed to the hospital there. My brother and sister-in-law were there, as she had just given birth to my nephew. He was tiny, hooked up to this and that. I was so happy to share in their joy.

On yesterday, my wife called me at work and asked me to drive up the Dallas North Tollway to the Presbyterian hospital off the Parker Road exit in Plano. When I arrived, she let me know that my 16 year-old nephew had just passed away. He had collapsed after gym class. Although he had a congenital heart condition which always made this a possibility, the death came essentially out of the blue.

Today is a day to help my family plan the various things one has to plan and a day in which we will all gather for mutual comfort and care. People have been so kind to my brother and my sister in law. My parents arrived last night. My sister is coming today.

My nephew and I went to see "Van Helsing" Thursday before last. Although it was raining, I parked us far away in the parking lot from the multiplex theater. The rain proved torrential, so we both got as soaked as if we had jumped into a pond of rainwater. We laughed together, as it was so absurd (not least that I did not let him out by the theater), and we looked so funny. Before the movie, he told me at length about his Summer plan to achieve some milestone in the game Everquest which was absolutely latin to me, but something he felt comfortable sharing with me as I am in the "non-gamer, gamer-friendly" camp and he loved that sort of game talk. We both laughed at the movie.

When the movie was over, we both said we enjoyed it. I drove him home, I said "Thanks for coming to the movie! That was great". As he hopped out, he said a gentle, muted, quiet "yeah", the kind of "yeah" a teenager says when an adult has over-enthused.

In the paper this morning they had an article about his passing. His high school principal said "he was an especially sweet young man. Nice, quiet, with lots of friends". That was my nephew. I am devastated that he is gone.
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