They called them the four horsemen. Marcel and three of his friends were inseparable as kids and teenagers. They played hockey together, rode their first motorcycles together, and when they were old enough to leave home, three of them shared a house and the fourth was a frequent visitor. I started dating Marcel around this time, the others also started longer term relationships, some moved to different cities, and as friends do, they drifted apart.
One of the four horsemen died yesterday. He crashed into a tree on his brother's motorcycle. He leaves behind two young sons, similar in age to our children.
He was the wildest of the four horsemen - always living life close to the edge. He knew how to have fun, kept the music loud and the party hopping. He was alot of fun to be around, with his energy and zest for life. When he stood up to speak at the open mike at our wedding, half of the room groaned for fear that he would roast Marcel with wild stories that would make his new in-laws cringe. He was respectful though, despite the temptation I'm sure he fought.
Brad will be missed by those who knew him - the other three horsemen and all his other friends and family. Today Marcel's dad, who manages the cemetery in their small town, had to meet with Brad's parents to arrange for a burial plot. Parents shouldn't have to bury their forty year old son.
And it gets worse. When Marcel phoned his cousin to tell him the bad news, he found out that another person he'd grown up, a neighbour and relative, was killed while crossing the street in Virginia. He was a long distance truck driver. He'd stopped his truck and was walking across the street to visit a convenience store.
Another family has to bury their son in the same small town this week. Another burial plot for Marcel's dad to arrange for.
Two funerals in one week is too much for one small town.