a loss


growing up, there was a group of 8-10 guys in our neighborhood who would play, hang out, grow up together, etc.  i don’t remember much about these guys.  their personalities, what they looked like, what made them mad, and so on.  i remember snippets of events like playing football, riding bikes, watching my brother try to run away, watching hanna barbara cartoons and playing hide & seek before school.  eating breakfast.  playing video games.  beating jeremy in john madden football.  sledding.  smashing batteries with hammers.

jeremy duane rowlands was one of them.  he was my brother’s best friend.  he died this week.  “tragic.”  “sudden.”  i don’t believe we’ll know the details.  free press and detroit news will have some notices starting tomorrow.

by association, i got to spend a lot of time with him but grew apart as we grew up.  i never really had a ‘best friend’ growing up.  anything i did in the group was because i tagged along.  i was more comfortable staying home playing with my legos.

tonight, there was a get together at his aunt’s house.  i caught up with people i haven’t seen in ten years, their family members in longer.

“adults” were awestruck at the notion that these “other kids” were old enough to grow up, get married, have kids, and the like.  i suppose it’s like that when you see someone who was fifteen the last time you saw them.

personally, i hadn’t seen the guy in ten years.  i ran into him, he was behind the counter at the video store.

“hey, what are you up to?” he asked.

“not much.  work. school.  meh, you?”

“this is it.”

“alright.  good to see you.  i gotta get goin’.”

today i found out that he wasn’t much for words.  i planned to attend saturday’s viewing.  i didn’t plan on attending sunday’s funeral but after tonight i changed my mind.

you were loved by many.  you will be missed.

from the obit

Age 30 of Howell, formerly of Farmington. Died at home in his sleep on Sunday, December 7, 2008. Born July 1, 1978. Beloved son of Susan and Scott Campbell of Farmington. Cherished grandson of Phyllis and the late Howard Youngs of Howell, and the late Dorothy Campbell formerly of Farmington Hills. Dear brother of Erika Campbell. Loving nephew of Melissa Youngs of Milford. Also survived and adored by cousin Jordan Misaros. Jeremy grew up in Farmington where he attended Our Lady of Sorrows Elementary School. He is a proud graduate of Catholic Central High School Class of 1996, and he attended Wayne State University. Funeral Service Sunday 11 a.m. at Catholic Central High School Chapel, 27225 Wixom Rd., Novi. Visitation Saturday 2-9 p.m. at Thayer-Rock Funeral Home, 33603 Grand River Ave., Farmington. www.thayer-rock.com

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