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.