He was a fairly smart person who graduated high school with pretty good grades. He went on to college right out of high school, but only stayed in for a year or so before he dropped out and worked odd jobs here and there. He had a child at age 20, moved in with and married the woman. He continued to work odd jobs here and there for about four years.
This is, of course, my own story, but it also the story of my friend Mike. Where the story leaves off is where our life paths diverged.
Of course, after those four years, I went back to school, eventually getting my BA in 2002. I was able to do it because of the fantastic support of my family and because I had a great job where I could work full time without hurting my academic performance too much. Then I had two more kids and went on to law school, where I am currently ensconced.
Mike and family moved away, where he tried to get back into school, but just wasn't able to balance supporting his family and being a student. His odd jobs were harder to balance with school than mine; I worked in a bank call center, while he worked odd jobs as a landscaper, a welder, and finally a truck driver. We lost touch over distance.
I found out yesterday from Mike's wife, also a good friend, that Mike killed himself about nine months ago. I'm having a "there but for the grace of God" kind of day.
I humbly ask for your well wishes and prayers for a little boy who's missing his daddy, and for a wife missing her husband terribly.