[note: this is a repost of my blog post originally posted April 19, 2007. Today my friend Myron posted a photo on facebook of our friend Tres in honor of his 45th birthday. That the reminder of Tres' birthday came from Myron is typically true to form as it would have been years ago for me. It seemed a good time to go back and repost this.]
I cant begin to know where to start with this one. My thoughts have been all over the place all day, so I figure I'll just start typing and see what comes out...
Wednesday night, I lost my friend Tres to cancer. He was diagnosed in the fall of 2005 with Testicular cancer, and after rounds of treatment found out last June that he actually had Lymphoma. Tres kept a blog of his battle - I never included it in my links column because I wasn't sure how personal he wanted it to be kept, but its a worthy read to understand the battles. If you know Tres, you may want to let some time pass before you read it. I must be a glutton for punishment, I went back to the first post and re-read it back in order today. I don't know why. Maybe guilt. Early on, Tres complained about people treating him differently and how it just reminded him of his cancer, so I always made an effort not to be any different then before. I didn't call him or email him more often than normal, I didn't bring up his health much unless he did. I'm feeling some regret about that now and feel like I should have done more. I'm sure it sounds naive, but I never doubted that he would eventually beat it. I knew how hard and tough the battle was, but I just... you know. I suppose it also allowed me to practice my own denial of the situation. I always figured we could talk about it later when it was all in the past. I could explain, and I hoped he'd say "Yeah, I knew what you were doing, and I'm glad." I hope he did.
Tres and I met not long after I moved to Dallas. He had moved there at about the same time, so we both were at similar stages of making new friends and finding our way. We met at church, oddly enough. We would often have "heaven to hell Sundays' that began with church service and ended many hours later with 50 cent beers at a T-Dance. Maybe the longevity of our friendship came from his closeness to my friend Myron, so our connection was doubled. The three of us continued to take annual treks to Key West for New Years, and despite zero interest in rodeo, Tres would join Myron and I on our annual roadtrip to the Oklahoma City Rodeo every Memorial Day. We dubbed it "the time of your liiiiiife," the phrase I had used to persuade him to go with us the first time he agreed. I think Tres was responsible for adding the stops for fried pies and Del Rancho drive-in chicken fried steak sandwiches that have now become tradition. Tres loved fun kitschy stuff, and roadside attractions and oddities were often the best of those. His love for kitsch personifies his spirit to me. He always had that kind of sparkle and would only see the positive in everything. ("How niice!")
His sister said he smiled just before he passed. I would have expected nothing less.