Saturday, November 14, 2009

A year later... Bye Lanny.. please Be Safe.

It's been a year now since Lanny O’Neal passed - taken from his family in a moment by a single, senseless hunting accident.

I think of them every day and still cry frequently. We were roommates in college, and over the years he remained someone I always considered a true friend. He had a wonderful spirit, was genuine to everyone and had a great sense of humor.

We were actually living together when he started dating his wife, Caroll. After college, Lanny got me my first job, a car salesman at one of the local dealerships. Everyone who had the privilege of crossing his path, knew he was someone to be counted on. Unselfish, never judgmental, just true.

There’s a time we all have in our emotional development, a “coming of age” time. That transition from reckless adolescent to adulthood with responsibilities. – Having responsibilities being differentiated from being responsible - It happens faster then we want to admit. Those people, with whom we share that transition period, stay part of us forever. He was there, he was part it, and he helped shap it.

I feel bad having not remained as in touch with his family as I wished. I am sure this year has been just brutal for them. His oldest son going off to college himself, the house must have an almost unbearable emptiness. It’s easy to get lost in the day to day efforts of being a single parent.. but then that’s were Carol is. That’s no excuse..

Lanny really did love to hunt. He loved cars, motorcycles, family time, travel, and above all his wife. He often said he loved Carol more now than the day he married her. We were out having a few and he had just re-affirmed that proclamation not a month before the accident. I admired him for that. Myself having been through a really awful marriage that made divorce a relief; I wondered what that type of life long bond and commitment would be like.

Some of his friends have turned this tragedy into an opportunity to spread hunting awareness. Any good that can come from this incomprehensible loss so be it. So, following, please be safe, tragedy affects so many.