Terry Evans: you are missed.
Terry Evans: you are missed.

Remembering Terry today

Today is the one year anniversary of the saddest day of my life.

It was one year ago that I learnwd that Terry Evans, a dear, dear friend and a well-known judge on the United States District Court of Appeals was going to die in just a few hours.

Terry had come down, inexplicably, with something called Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. There was no cure. He had just been flown by helicopter to Chicago where a sliver of hope was held out.

But nothing worked and his family made the decision, with doctors and other health professionals, to let him go.

There was so much that was hard to believe about this. He was healthy. He never smoked. His spirit was both indomitable and infectious. Not only did everybody love him, he loved everybody.

His family was like our family. His children didn't live in Milwaukee, so every Father's Day my daughters delivered pistachio nuts to his home to wish him a Happy Father's Day. He thought it was a wonderful gesture even though his wife, a healthy-eating devotee, rationed the intake of nuts.

I loved his children, and had a little special place for his son, David, perhaps because we share a first name. I played golf once with Terry and David and as he watched him hit a shot, Terry turned to me and said, "That's my boy. My beautiful boy."

His family and friends wrapped their arms around him but were unable to lift him from the grips of this disease. That was especially saddening and frustrating.

A group email went out giving the time that he was going to die. His family asked everybody to raise a glass of wine at the hour he would leave us.

Some people had the wine. Others said a prayer. Some held hands.

I cried. I cried like I had never done as an adult. And one year later, I still cry.


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