posted on May, 22 2006 @ 01:53 PM
Today was his funeral, Mark the Rocket Man. Time had seemed to slow down as we looked down over that casket. The others cried, I couldn't seem to.
The world existed in a state of balanced suspension, and I alone seemed able to collect my thoughts, dreary as they were. How I would have longed to
blend with the weakened colors and monotonous sounds as the others did, but it seemed that fate had some other twisted plan for me. Why is it that it
always seems to rain at a funeral? Is it God's way of helping those of us mourn who cannot cry? Do the heavens weep for those who are too pained to
let it through? The sounds of the raindrops on the casket startled me from my reverie, and then it was fresh all over again, as though I had been
struck by a train. Was it not enough that he was gone? Would I have to dwell on it forever, as though with each passing moment I am told again, over
and over again? "Students, as you all know, Mark Khoeler went into the hospital for his heart surgery yesterday. Despite a successful operation, it
seems that his body rejected the transplant. Memorial services will be held on Saturday for those of you who were close to him. We will always
remember him." The moment stood clear in my mind as I stared into his cherubic face, just as it does now while I write this. Jillian immediately
fell to the floor and curled in pain and tears. She was with me, but Mark was so close to us all. It was she that had given him his nickname, for
the small oxygen tank he always had to carry on his back. He was so young, and took it in stride. Not two days before, we sat laughing together over
nothing. "Are you scared?" I asked him. "Of what, dying?" he replied. "Not really. If it happens, it happens. Good looking chicks up there
anyway I bet." He smiled and I did too. And as I stood over his casket, watching as the earth began to swallow him forever, I dwelt on that smile.
I found myself staring at the space just above it, where the cold air met with the rain that had become my tears. I don't really know what it was
that I was looking for. Maybe to see some spark of his soul rising to that place he so longed to be in. Who knows? At least then I might have
caught that smile one more time. If there is such a place as Mark sought out, I hope he is there, and with all the women he could want. The day's
don't get any easier, but his memory only seems to grow stronger as they pass, and that seems to help. Here's to you Mark. Our Rocket Man,
wherever you are.