Thursday, January 10, 2013

My friend

In the very first post I ever wrote for this blog, seven years ago this month, I wrote about what prompted me to start the blog in the first place:

What’s funny about cancer? Well, nothing. One day last December, however, while I was anxiously hanging around a computer lounge at the Mayo Clinic, wondering if anything would ever seem funny again, I got an e-mail from a college friend of mine who has had two heart transplants in the past few years. He told me to find humor wherever I possibly could; it would save me.

This man has had two heart transplants and still seems relatively chipper, so I believe him.

That e-mail was from my friend Brian, who died yesterday from complications from those heart transplants. He was only 39. I met him on my first day of college in 1993. I had a scholarship that required me to write for the school newspaper, and he was the editor of the paper. I'm sure my other college friends would agree that he was probably one of the best editors that paper has ever had. If you wrote/designed something that really sucked, he would not hesitate to tell you that the thing you just wrote/designed really sucked. But then he would help you make it better.

He was wonderfully funny, he knew everything there is to know about movies and pop culture, and he cooked me chicken stir-fry on my nineteenth birthday. Once we went to a journalism conference in New York City and we spotted Woody Allen in FAO Schwarz. I thought Brian was going to pass out. We pretended we were looking at Barbie dolls while we stalked Woody Allen.

Brian went on to a great career in journalism. I will be forever grateful to that advice that he gave me in 2005 --- advice I try to follow every day. I will miss you, Brian.

I thought I'd post this video, because he really liked singing and dancing to this song in college. It seems fitting. I can't help but think he'd get a kick out of the cheesy roller-skating routine:


Lorna A said...

I'm so sorry Karen. Brian sounds like he was a fantastic friend to have.

Gosh life sucks sometimes, Paula has been gone 6 months to the day and we still miss her like it was yesterday.

I can't think of anything better to say. x x x

Team S said...

I'm sorry for your loss, but happy that you had a friend who gave you great advice and even greater memories.

Sandy said...

What a nice testimonial to a friendship and a reminder of all the many ways we touch people's lives, sometimes if only for a short time.

Anonymous said...

You are right. He was a fantastic editor and an even better friend. I couldnt belive it when ann called and said he was gone. I had forgotten about woody allen. Those were good times kathie bates

Karen's Mom said...

Brian was right about surviving with humor. That certainly includes your 7 years of blogging and your ever-optimistic outlook, Aunt Margie in her purple wig and hot pink sunglasses, Mike Pauly and his unrelenting punning. You're all an inspiration!

Cameron VSJ said...


I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?