I’m not sure that the preceding sentence can adequately capture the immensity of this terrible reality. You’d just have to know Troy to understand how utterly irrational it is to think that he is no longer with us.
Here it is, nearly a month after the fact, and I still cannot wrap my head around it… it just doesn’t make sense.
I was there, I saw them lower him into the earth on a sunny and bitter-cold windswept day, yet I still want to think that I’ll see him somewhere… at an OHS football game along the chain-link fence that surrounds the field, or filling up his truck at the Valero gas station, or carrying a blue sack of Kingsford charcoal briquets out of Brookshires…
…but I won’t.
Such is the sting of our frail lifetimes. One such as Troy, full of life and laughter, can be taken from us even at the prime of his hour.
We cannot call back all those lost moments, anymore than we can recall a droplet of water from the river’s course.
I last saw Troy Parrish at the local Dairy Queen a couple months ago.
Like something out of a Springsteen song, I was walking in as he was walking out.
We smiled and said hello, but briefly. I had all my kids with me and they were clamoring about as Troy laughed and tried to get a word in edgewise. I asked about his brother Gary, one of my oldest/dearest friends, and he asked how my mother was doing.
But he had to get somewhere and I had to get somewhere, we exchanged numbers and assurances to meet up at a better time. I didn’t give it a second thought… I knew there would be time. I thought.
It was like so many of the harried miniature conversations I’ve had since returning to my hometown. We say “hello” and we promise to get together “sometime” but someday never comes.
We see each other, we wave hello, and we trust in the false promise that we will have many days. But this is not true. Our lives are precious and fragile things.
Troy Michael Parrish was known by many, and loved by all who knew him. Though he died well before his time, he will never be forgotten.