Last week, sat outside a cafe at Dunluce Castle, enjoying a cup of tea, warm sun and views of the Antrim Coast, I took a phone call.
It was one of the two partners at my IFA firm. A few pleasantries before he dropped the real news. His business partner had died.
Younger than me. In relatively good health. He’d shared the serious joke “you never know when you’re time’s up and I could be struck down before you Dave” just a couple of weeks earlier.
And with that a strange wave of emotion. Yes, it was a business transaction I’d had with this chap, but I’d shared intimate detail about my illness, life expectancy etc with him over a few weeks. I couldn’t really say the man was a friend. But certainly more than just a bloke providing a professional service. It’s quite shocking that he didn’t get the same opportunity to plan life’s final path. And desperately sad that he’s gone.
But above all I’m still here. A little bit of me feels that I’ve cheated him. Another bit feels pleased it wasn’t me. It’s all a bit messed up in my head and really strange.
A reminder today, nine days on, when I’ve felt a little agitated and down, that I’ve been lucky in life and, for now, I can carry on being lucky. And happy.