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if you think life is unfair -

Try death.

I know that sounds bleak, but it’s been that kind of week. Last week was that kind of week on a national level, between Alton, Philandro and Dallas. Then it became that week locally, when a 52 year old mother of four had a semi-freak accident on Saturday, wrote cheery Facebook updates well into Sunday afternoon, then died Sunday night. This was someone whose smile was the first thing you saw when you came into the room, the person whose eyes truly did seem to sparkle all the time, the one guaranteed to make you laugh within five minutes (right after she said “and what can I do for ya?”) I opened the e-mail Monday morning that said she had passed away, and had the same reaction everyone else did:  No, that can’t be true.  Denise Hamer did not die, could not die. Too many people depend on her, love her, need her in the world. Someone else that nobody needs, somebody who’s had enough of life – OK, let them go. Let somebody else get on that lawnmower, let somebody else whose children are older and more ready to fend for themselves, some other family that doesn’t need their wife and mother as much as this one needs theirs, some other office that’s really hoping their admin will go ahead and retire or secretly hoping, in their darker moments, that maybe an aneurysm will come along or a blood clot will work itself loose – THIS HAS TO HAPPEN TO SOMEONE ELSE. We’re fine with taking this afternoon to drive to a funeral, but it can’t be hers. This is too unreal, too unfair, it isn’t right, it isn’t true, THIS CANNOT BE.

My dad used to say, when I complained: Life’s not fair, try baseball. When he was fading so slowly and uselessly, for years, and someone younger and more necessary would die, I’ll admit it: I offered him up in exchange. Take this one, I offered the universe. Really. He’s free to go, and that other one is still needed here on earth. Well, Dad finally did die, close to a year ago, so I don’t have any spares to offer. Plus I never found the window where you turn in those applications, though I’m still looking just in case.

But Denise Hamer. Come on, this is just wrong.

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You always saw the sparkle first

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Kristine Muñoz

Curriculum Vitae




Interpersonal Communication