Here we were, in 2006, because we didn't think Joann, left, would make it to the real 35th year for our reunion. She had a double lung transplant earlier that year. Next to her is Rick, who went to Costa Rico ro live on railroad disability after his aorta was patched and became cocaine addicted. Next to me is Jeff. He's the one who's dead.
Joann and Mio went to his funeral Saturday in North Carolina. As Joann's grad student daughter drove, she and Mio talked about how she clings to life while Jeff tossed it away.
I've been looking at the emails between me and Jeff since his January layoff as as VP at Eastwood Homes. Tapped on the shoulder, told no profit was expected this year. Hasta la vista.
We had not written in a while, since March after he returned from spring skiing in Colorado with his daughter from his first marriage.
He had married his girlfriend of six years, Cindy, last summer. Karen, his first wife and mom of Kayla, and Jeff were on good terms.
Cindy's chain of dance studios went under shortly after they married. Jeff had built homes for Karen, his now year old mother Ann, his sister Joanne, and himself, on Lake Norman in North Carolina, very much like the lake we grew up on, the photo negative image of Isla.
Jeff's father managed credit and money poorly. He vowed to not let that happen to him. Before joining Eastwood, he built his houses with his own money, starting the business with one house, then selling it and building two, etc.
He had accumulated expensive toys no one would buy from him in the recession. Nice power boats like his dad provided for us but sometimes Jeff came home from school to naked hotdogs.
He was fussy and a worry wart. I am still struggling to explain this. He had assets in land and homes. Used to have a million dollar portfolio. Lost it the way so many others did.
He was on anti depressants. Who knows what gave him the idea to hang himself on the 30th of June. May he rest in peace. May his family grow stronger from this. Jeff, you idiot! We are pissed at you for now.