Letter to Ken: 12 Years Ago

It happened about 12 years ago, minus an hour. Give or take.

Two police cars were headed to a call. You were headed home from work. Best I can tell from news reports, they were turning a long right bend and possibly slipped into your lane, hitting you head-on. They were seriously injured. You were killed.

378,432,000 seconds.

Where would you be in life these days? Would you and Melissa have gotten married? Had kids? I bet you’d still be into gaming, and coding, and the pseudo-military thing you did with some of your other buddies who grew up as military brats.

6,307,200 minutes.

You were really into tech at the time. I bet you’d love it in today’s society with all of the wearables and perma-connectivity. I bet we’d have found a way to keep in better contact when I moved so far away.

105,120 hours.

I bet you’d have enjoyed the last Tragically Hip concert. I think we canucks figure it was mandatory viewing by now, but now that I think about it, I have no idea what kind of music you were into. Last we talked, you were in a country music phase. And learning guitar.

4,380 days.

All I remember about that morning is Glenn trying to get me to call him, me being annoyed thinking he was just goofing around to get me to waste long distance minutes on something dumb … then he finally called me. Dropped the bomb. You were dead. I was working at a private university as a programmer and my coworker with whom I shared an office wasn’t in that day, so I spent the next hour or more staring out the window. Facing north. Facing Canada. Facing my reflection.

12 years is a long friggin’ time.

Sometime shortly after midnight, the morning of August 27, 2004, my friend Ken Robertson was killed in a car collision. I try to write a little something on the anniversary of his death as my way of remembering a really great guy, and reflect on things that I felt I needed to correct about myself. Specifically, whether or how I entered into business agreements with friends, and to be far more forgiving, accepting, and patient.