Saturday, August 13, 2011

The People We Know

It has been a brutally rough two weeks for the Defense Bar in Harris County.

The weekend before last, we lost John Denninger to cancer.

Days later, we learned of the deaths of Phil Jenkins and Rosemary Garza.

Last night, we learned that Marguerite Hudig passed away.

It seems lately that we've been losing a lot of fine people long before their time on this Earth should have been up.

Last week, I was up in Brazos County, talking to my friend, David Hilburn, and we talked about how it seemed that the frequency of hearing tragic news seemed to be increasing as we got older.

When we were all children, losing a friend or a family member was a much more rare, yet tragic occasion.

Now, it seems that every month or so, we learn that someone we know (at least, someone we know in passing) has died.

Maybe it's just the harsh reality of growing older that brings this to light.  To me, that's the sad way to observe this phenomena.

The other way to look at it is that as we've grown older, we've expanded our boundaries and have gotten to know so many more people than we did when we were children.  If you look at the circle of friends and acquaintances that we all had when we were smaller, it vastly pales in comparison to the number of people we get to know as adults.

We grew from children and met more people.  The more people we meet, the more people we ultimately have to say goodbye to.  The more goodbyes we say, the sadder we become.

The loss of a friend, a family member, a co-worker, or even just a familiar face that you were accustomed to seeing in the hallways of the courthouse is always sad.

But the reason for the feeling of sadness is the loss of that familiarity that we once had.

For some reason, learning of Marguerite's passing has made me particularly sad.

I can't articulate why.  I didn't know her well at all.  I had a few cases against her as a prosecutor, but none that ever went to trial.

But, I suppose I was used to her.  She was a regular face around the CJC.  Just like John Denninger, Phil Jenkins, and Rosemary Garza -- not to mention all of those other attorneys that I've had the honor to know and subsequently say goodbye to over the years.

I'm sorry that I won't be seeing those faces around the CJC again.  They will be missed.

But I'm glad that I had the opportunity to meet them.  Glad to have gotten to know them -- some better than others.

I'm happy to have expanded my circle of friends and co-workers as I've gotten older, because the people that we get to know along the way are the ones that make all of our lives so much richer and so much more interesting for having known them.

Even if it is so sad to ultimately have to say goodbye to them.


7 comments:

E. Ross Craft said...

Marguerite was a good person, and resolutely defended her clients. She also deeply loved and cared for her dogs. Although she had a less than chirpy demeanor, she had a good, kind heart and was considered a friend to and by some lucky folks. Both her parents were deceased. She was a good model for showing how to continue to go forward when the road seemed almost always uphill and the odds stacked against you. I for one will miss her greatly and mourn her untimely death.

E. Ross Craft

Anonymous said...

I am sad to see the loss of these people too.

And - it makes me (as a 50-something person in this business) realize how important it is to do what I can to take care of myself and do things that matter.

Some illnesses can't be avoided, but many can.

Too many of us have some really bad habits - smoking, drinking too much, bad eating, little exercise, too much stress - etc, etc.

Personally, hanging out in a bar - which this business encourages us to do - lost its appeal when I was in my 30s. I'd rather be with my family, outside, or just about anywhere else.

Life is short - by the time you REALLY appreciate how short it is, you're probably about my age!

Hope others get a clue earlier.

BLACK INK said...

Anon 12:01,

You are 100% correct.

Even though wisdom is becoming more elusive every day; I share your wish that, "hope springs eternal" .....

Linda Norah-Davis said...

The loss of Marguerite hits me hard. I will miss our conversations about her dogs. She was always kind and never complained even when things were less than perfect. My biggest regret is that I never told her how much I liked her and that whenever I happened to see her, she made me feel great. I miss you already.
Linda Norah-Davis

Kirk Oncken said...

Well, unbeknownst to me, 2 weeks ago (maybe less) would be the last time I would see Marguerite Hudig. I saw her riding the elevator with a client very stoically going about the business of making that person's life a little more bearable. I said hello as I always did. (There was something about Marguerite that made you want to say hello - probably her sweetness). I got the same response I, and anyone else who spoke to her did. The eyebrows would raise slightly and there would be a very faint crack of a smile to one corner of her mouth. Maybe because of my deafness, or maybe because of her shyness I could barely discern a response most of the time, but I remember thinking then - as I always did - there goes a really kind soul. I am glad I got to see that expression one more time. I think Murray is right - we all know each other at the CJC - so why not act like it. Share a hello. It might make Harris County seem a little more like Galveston County. NOW WOULDN'T THAT BE NICE.

Castillo said...

Could someone contact me please at castillo.patrice@gmail.com ? I knew both Rosemary and Marguerite and would like some information. Wehave not been in touch.

Sid Crowley said...

I was sorry to hear about Rosemary Garza. I worked with her at the DA's Office in the '80s. She was always very nice and friendly.