The text finally came, just after midnight on Friday morning. It wasn’t unexpected, but there are some things that knock the wind out of you no matter how hard you try to brace.
I met Stephen Menefee at work. We were assigned to the same program; me in Product Support Engineering and he in Project Engineering. He was the type that draws others in: always smiling, making jokes, laughing. We’d occasionally bump into one another at our work gym, and he’d ask about Meaghen, the boys, upcoming races. He’d shake his head and call me insane as he’d watch me do my workout, then join in after finishing a punishing class. “What’s happenin’ brotha?” was his line, even if he’d just seen you an hour prior. He introduced me to the Rocky Point Triathlon and Ragnar relay series, and let me know that I was welcome to join him anytime I wanted. Steve didn’t have friends, he had family.