There are some days in our lives that when they come up every year, you always think about what once happened on that day.
Certainly 9/11 will always do that for people who were alive in 2001. More personally, the memory of a serious event in their lives, like a wedding, divorce (I can still remember the exact date and day of the week my parents told my sister and I they were splitting up) or something else, will bring memories flooding back.
The Friday after Thanksgiving, until last year, always meant a reunion with my childhood friends. The five of us are a little scattered across the country now, but ever since college we’ve always made it a point to get together the night after Turkey Day, to catch up, tell old stories, and just treasure the fact that our friendship has lasted 25 years.
Last year, though, a different memory got added to this day: A college friend of mine, and a hell of a journalist, was struck by a car in a disgusting hit and run accident in Pennsylvania. Brian Hickey was two years ahead of me at Delaware, and anyone who met him never forgot him. He was brash, opinionated, incredibly funny, and a fearless journalist.
Yet last year at this time, he’d been struck while walking home by a person who doesn’t deserve to be free. Brian was in a coma for weeks, and there were moments when we all thought he might die. His incredible wife, Angie, kept Brian’s hundreds of friends updated on his condition through his Facebook page, one of the best uses of social networking ever.
Slowly, miraculously, Brian recovered. He was able to leave the hospital, and after a ton of rehabilitation, is writing great stories again, like this one detailing his accident and recovery. The individual who hit Brian has yet to be found and apprehended.
So today, I am sure that all of his friends spent a few minutes thinking about Hickey (as everyone called him). We’re lucky to still have him.
Of course, now that I’ve written this, he’ll probably email me something nasty about Duke basketball or the Yankees, perhaps suggesting Mike Krzyzewski has an improper relationship with his mother.
But it’ll make me smile, because that’s how Brian shows his love. And we very nearly lost him one year ago Friday.
***In case you haven’t figured it out by now from reading this blog, I’m a huge political nerd. I love the horse race quality of elections, I love the drama and the intrigue, and all that good stuff.
If you’re at all like me, I think you’ll really like the book I just finished, The Battle for America, 2008 It’s by a pair of Washington Post reporters, Dan Balz and Hayes Johnson, who followed the 2008 campaign for more than two years.
There’s some great insider stuff in here, from the battery in Obama’s tiny plane dying in the opening pages, to all the backbiting and negativity in Hillary’s campaign, to the amazing rescue from the dead of John McCain’s campaign.
Even though I followed the race pretty closely, I learned plenty. Just a good all-around read, written in conversational style with great quotes from all the key players.