on December 15, 1992 i was home for winter break from Earlham College and listening to the radio, when a news program broke in and i heard that my friend Galen Gibson had been shot and killed at Simon's Rock of Bard College. this was many years BC (Before Columbine) and the first real school shooting of the 90's. it was shocking, and i didn't really know what to make of it. Galen and i had been in the same Unitarian youth group, and while we were not close, and i was a few years older than him, we had many friends in common and knew each other reasonably well. and on the day previous he had been gunned down by a classmate named Wayne Lo.
i never wrote a condolence card to his family, and i didn't go to the funeral. his father wrote a very inspirational book called "Gone Boy -- A Walkabout" that i devoured and cried over, and i still never wrote. i was embattled in my own fight with Bard College and coming to terms with my own life changing events, and i simply couldn't face it. he had other friends who were closer who i know showered the family with love and with memories of Galen, and i wasn't needed.
over the years, i have crafted many letters to Gregory Gibson, Galen's father. and i have never posted a single one. too much time had passed. right now, i believe that Galen, had he lived, would have been 33. and we probably wouldn't still be in touch. but since he was forever frozen at 18, he has stayed with me. along with all the unposted letters to his father.
today i decided that it is never too late, and i sent an email to Gregory, saying that i was thinking of Galen, and that i was sorry for his loss. the events of this week reminded me that it is never too late to send condolences.