I have often heard people say “life is precious,” and “don’t waste a minute of it.” Sometimes profound words fall on deaf ears. We’re busy, and it is difficult to think about paying the mortgage, the fuel bill, gas for the car, food for the family, taking care of as best we can our parents as they age and need our help more and more, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera – and to simultaneously be reflective about these important issues, remembering to stop and smell the roses, to accept that being right may not be as important as it once seemed, to be happy. Life is precious…
We got the call just as we returned home from the hospital where my wife had knee surgery. We thought at first it was about her father, who is nearing 90. I knew that was not it by her reaction on the phone. I knew it was something totally unexpected and horrific. She was hysterical, inconsolable. For a moment I was afraid that her sister Lorraine’s son had been shot and killed. He is a police officer in a very violent part of Delaware. It wasn’t until she got off the phone and through the sobbing and gasping told me it was Rich, her sister Lil’s husband.
On March 14, 2013, my brother-in-law, Rich Lorenzen, a man in seemingly good shape, an athlete, an active guy with an active job who played sports with his friends regularly, skated off the ice at the end of the game and collapsed. One of his teammates was a cardiologist and they had defibrillators on site. But at 51 years old, one of the dearest, kindest men I have ever known, who was loved by everyone who ever met him, who never had a bad word to say to or about anyone, died of a massive heart attack. No one saw it coming.