I just received word that my friend Nick succumbed to cancer after a heroic year-long fight. Nick was a gentleman, a scholar, an athlete. He bore the burden of his illness with dignity and grit. Before he fell ill, Nick used to volunteer with disabled kids in an outreach program run by his taekwondo school.
For those unfamiliar with the post title, it's part of a quote from the novel Watership Down by Richard Adams: "My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today." Nick was exactly the right age to read a book like Watership Down for the first time. Nick was the perfect example of the adage "The candle that burns brightest burns briefest." As much as I mourn the loss of the boy who was, I weep for the loss of the man he would have been.
My deepest, most heartfelt condolences to his parents, his big brother, and his little sister.