Tuesday, October 9, 2007


OK, this is off-topic, but hell, it's my blog and I can write what I want. I promise to all you racing devotees that I will be back on track (no-pun) the next few days.

I've been thinking about mortality recently. Two friends of mine triggered this for me.
Colleen Jayne. She was a project manager at IGT where I work. I worked with her for years. She was a funny, sweet, smart and lovely woman who adored her husband and family. She was so proud of her grandchildren. She always had a funny story to share about something going on in her life with the kids. About 2 weeks ago we spent some time catching up at a conference in Las Vegas. Now that I live in Minnesota we have spent less time together. As part of the move, I also transferred into a separate division of the company so we no longer worked closely. My wife, Theri, moved with me and she an Colleen were close and they hadn't seen each other for a while so we made plans to get together for lunch when we both came into town in a few weeks. Well, Col got sick. It morphed into pneumonia. In the hospital she contracted a staph infection and had passed away by the next morning. It was stunning and shocking and tremendously sad. One week she was here, the next week this wonderful woman was gone.

Paul "Stats" Mooney. Stats was one of my first and firmest friends when I got to Colby College in the fall of 1987. He and I become friends quickly and we soon learned that we were only born a few hours apart in Massachusetts - I on October 26 and Stats on October 27. Through the years we moved in and out of touch with each other. After a few barren years he reappeared on my e-mail last Monday. Today he is on Pittsburgh recovering from a double lung transplant. You see, Paul has cystic fibrosis. No one ever knew. He didn't want to be treated differently. In the short time between us reconnecting, I recognized some remarkable things about him - he is an inspiration; he is giving to a fault; he has become active in the CF community and helps others and gives them strength. He was always a writer, but I noticed his writing has become sharper and deeper. His music is moving and touching and deserves an audiance. He is recovering now, but it's only been a day and I don't know if he's out of the woods. All I know is that this voice can't be silenced yet. All I know is that I jealously want my friend around because I've missed him and can't bear to lose him now.

I guess the moral for me is stay close, stay in touch, make sure that you let people that you're close to know how much they mean to you. One day they can just be gone.
For information on Stats, to hear his music, learn more about CF or to contribute to his financial recovery (He has been unemployed for over a year because of his illness and the treatments have been exorbitantly expensive), please visit www.clamshellmuni.org.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello, I am Colleen Jayne's daughter Nicole. Tomorrow would have been my mom's 54th birthday. I was feeling the need to google her - just to see what her name would bring up on the net. I came across your blog and was touched to see the wonderful and kind things you wrote of her. She is deeply missed and I think of her daily. She would have been thrilled at the arrival of my daughter Rose Colleen in Feb of 2008. We were anxiously planning for the baby just before Mom passed. I have to say though that I feel her every day here with me. Thanks for taking the time to remember a woman that meant the world to me.