It’s been 4 years, and I can finally talk about it. Some.

Todd Treadway was my best friend. I’m odd, in the I have very few close friends and a lot of acquaintances. Todd was a friend, but not just to me, to everyone. He was that kind of guy. Everybody liked him. My brother counted him best friend as well, and there was no rivalry over it. He was just a terrific fellow.

We went to HS together, graduated together, and started JC together. Neither of us moved on or out of out little West Texas town. Friday and Saturday nights, when not accompanied by the Distractions of Women, were spent together. Usually playing cards. Dull, wholesome bunch, we were. Engines were rebuilt, time was spent. A whole lot of time was spent, in the way that friends do. The kind of ‘there’s always tomorrow, and we’re all in this together’ way friends have.

Todd was the photographer at my wedding (I was broke, and he volunteered). He was a big part of my life.

He worked hard, in a copy shop for as long as I could remember until he got a Masters degree, then went into social work in the State’s psychiatry wing, and eventually became a licensed psychologist. He married a wonderful psychologist, and they had a good life together. They were as happy as married people with jobs and careers can be, maybe a little happier.

He loved the Mercury Cyclone, so much so that he had two of them: one to drive and another to restore, when he finally got around to it.

A motorcycle killed him. Well, technically it was the pickup running a stop sign that killed him, but since he entered that space and time on a bike, the motorcycle did him in. The helmet didn’t help. It was quick, which is some solace, but not much.

Maybe by accident and maybe on purpose, he made my brother and I smile at his funeral. He once told his wife in passing “I want Wagner at my funeral”, and she asked if we knew what he meant. We did; nobody watched Apocalypse Now with Todd as many times as we did and doesn’t recognize his affinity for the Ride of the Valkyries. We played it. It sounded good in a big Lutheran Church.

They say time heals wounds.

I really hope so.


  1. Mrs. Fred says:

    It helps, but we still miss him and think of him nearly every day. And yes, Wagner in the Lutheran Church had Mr. and Mrs. Fred smiling in remembrance!

  2. Aerospace Genius says:

    As near as I can remember, here’s what I said at his funeral.

    You know, I think maybe the finest thing that can be said about anyone is that he or she did an awful lot of good for a lot of other people. And I can say that about Todd.

    It would not be fair of me to keep you all here long enough to fully explain all of the good that Todd did for myself and my family, so I hope I can adequately sum it up by saying that Todd went beyond being the best friend I have ever had. He was a brother to us.

    Mr. and Mrs. Treadway, ya done good. You raised one of the finest humand beings to ever walk the face of the earth and I’m proud of you. And (wife), I only wish he could still be here for you.

    Now we can’t do that for you, but we can remember just what an awesome guy he was and we can try to bring some of that into our own lives. When you find yourself doing something that is just way cooler that you thought you were going to do, you’ll know it was him. He had that effect on people.

  3. My condolences on the loss of your friend. I couldn’t imagine losing my best friend, even though I did lose my husband, sorta the same.
    Time doesn’t heal old wounds, just makes them hurt less.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear this. I’ve got my own share of unhealed wounds from loved ones who departed recently. I understand how you feel. It won’t be easy but I know healing will come one day. My sincere condolences.

  5. I’m really sorry that you lost your friend like that! Time will help dull the pain but it will never truly go away. Sounds like he had a wonderful friend in you.

  6. I know what it’s like to observe anniversaries like that. It’s hard to lose a friend. I’m glad you shared that with us.

  7. Hi, I just wanted to say that I am thinking about you at this difficult time and yes, time does make grief easier, though the grief will never go away.

    My sister was killed by a drunk driver 10 years ago. And the grief has been one heck of a ride.

    I hope you have done something special for yourself and Todd on the anniversary day.

    Again, I my thoughts are with you.

  8. My older brother died on a motorcycle Christmas Eve 1982. It took me till Christmas last year to let go.

    I was just re-reading a poem today given to those of us who had been doing a lot of end of life care in our workplace recently…

    The Bridge (Joy Cowley)

    There are times in life
    when we are called to be bridges,
    not a great monument spanning a distance
    and carrying loads of heavy traffic
    but a simple bridge to help one person from here to there
    over some difficulty
    such as pain, grief, fear, loneliness,
    a bridge which opens the way for ongoing journey.

    When I become a bridge for another,
    I bring upon myself a blessing,
    for I escape from the small prison of self
    and exist for a wider world,
    breaking out to be a larger being
    who can enter another’s pain
    and rejoice in another’s triumph.

    I know of only one greater blessing
    in this life, and that is,
    to allow someone else
    to be a bridge for me.

    You escape from the small prison of self every day. I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for time to do it’s thing; the job of healing is left to us, and we engage in it with every patient treated, every colleague in need, every family supported. We advance, and retreat, over and over, from the still place within out into the chattering world, because a good and worthwhile life is the best possible memorial.

    It took me more than twenty years to figure that one out though…

  9. Bob in Mississippi says:

    This only means something to me but I’ll share it anyway.
    Time makes the grief softer. Just another way of saying
    time heals.

    God looked around his garden
    and he found an empty place.
    He then looked down upon this earth
    and saw your friendly face.
    He put his arms around you
    and lifted you to rest.
    God’s garden must be beautiful.
    He always takes the best.
    He knew that your time
    on earth was done,
    So he closed your eyelids
    and whispered, “Peace be Thine.”
    He then took you up to heaven
    with hands gentle and kind.
    It broke our hearts to lose you,
    but you did not go alone,
    for part of us went with you
    the day God took you home.

  10. I’m sorry for you loss.

    It may take a LOT of time to heal, but I do believe that paying tribute to friends as you have here gives some comfort as well as honor to the way our loved ones lived.


  11. Long rider says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. It seems strange to me that you would blame an object (motorcycle or truck) for the death of your friend. The truth is a PERSON killed your friend. People like that have killed my friends too.
    It is true that motorcycles are dangerous, but riding them is as legal as talking on the cell phone while driving, and probably safer. Running a red light, however, is illegal. The motorcycle did not do him in, the idiot in the pickup with his head up his @#%@# did him in. Your friend died doing what he loved.