Life, Death, and Cherries

Erma Bombeck famously wrote If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?

Today in my hometown, a man is being buried when he should be celebrating his 37th birthday with his two young daughters.

We were never exceptionally close, but my lasting memory of him will always be that during high school, he called me by my brother’s name with a “Little” in front of it. You see, my brother is six years older than me, so he wasn’t there in person to watch over me during those ever-so-important years; by his reminding me of my brother every time we passed in the hall, though, I always got the feeling he was an appointed, surrogate big brother. He was a sweetheart.

I haven’t seen him in probably 15 years or so, but my heart breaks for his family. His father was a favorite teacher of mine, I cheered and graduated with his sister, and his brother also graduated with us. And his daughters, oh those little girls, one of whom goes to school with my nephew . . . just heartbreaking.

He was the kind of person who had a smile for everyone — and I mean everyone no matter what your “status” was in our small Friday Night Lights-type town. Yeah, he was a jock, but you’d never know it, and that’s a huge compliment. Just a helluva guy, plain and simple.

So today, for one community in a little corner of Pennsylvania and all its branches throughout the world, life is more pits than cherries, but here’s an amazing performance of a silly little song as we all look ahead to the future:


Rest in peace, Trock.

May your smile brighten wherever it is you are, and may your family and friends find comfort in their memories.

17 Beans of Wisdom to “Life, Death, and Cherries”
  1. 07.27.2010

    Warm blessings to you Michelle for the loss of your friend! xoxo

  2. Judy DeSapio

    The “silly little song” is a beautiful tribute to your friend. So sorry to hear of your loss and your home community’s loss! Hugs

  3. 07.27.2010

    So sorry for your loss, Michelle.

  4. How tragic, Michelle. I’m so sorry for your loss, and the loss of the community and his family.

  5. That is so sad Michelle. Even if you weren’t terribly close, it still is a loss. We lost someone we went to high school with last year and it was tough. Take care of yourself today.

  6. 07.27.2010

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Hugs!

  7. Gil

    So sad. I’m lost for words, but will say a prayer for your friend and his family.

  8. 07.27.2010

    So sorry to hear it.


    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  9. Michelle – I am so sorry for your loss – and your community’s loss.

  10. 07.27.2010

    Sad that he is gone – great that he was part of your life.

  11. 07.27.2010

    I’m sorry about your friend.

  12. 07.28.2010

    How sad…so sorry for yor loss.

  13. I’m sorry for your loss. It’s ironic you are grieving the loss of someone over here; and I am grieving the death of a cousin a stone’s throw from where you are.
    Some things are universal, I guess. take care.

  14. Laura

    I’m sorry Michelle. I imagine you feel far from “home” at times like this. It sounds like he was one of the good men.

  15. 07.28.2010

    So sorry to hear about your loss. It always seems somehow more difficult to lose a person that is supposed to be in the prime of their life. Take care.


  16. michelle

    Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts.

  17. 07.28.2010

    I sympathize, and I add that the best way to express love for those that leave is to revive good memories of them in life, and you are wonderfully apt in this. Thanks for putting me there in place and time. May he rest comforted by our thoughts. Warm feelings for him, and for you.

    Hugs, Carlo

    Grazie Carlo xo

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
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Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
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Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
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