I drove myself up to Reno to celebrate the life of a dear friend, Roger.
I met Roger 5+ years ago playing blackjack on my very first trip to Reno. It’s a story so crazy it can only be true.
Viet and I were in Reno for the fourth of July weekend. We wanted to get out of the city, and I’d never been to Reno before. By fate-chance, Roger and I ended up on the same blackjack table, and we argued about basic strategy and quickly became bffs, hi-fiving until our hands stung. Over the course of many hours, we laughed and sang and told stories at the table. By the time the evening turned into the next day, my cheeks hurt from smiling. We were instant friends.
At the end of our great gambling run, Roger invited us over to his house the next day to BBQ and watch the fireworks with him and his daughter, Liz and her boyfriend. Although the hubs was a little wary of heading to a stranger’s house out under the Sierras 20 miles outside of downtown, I assured him that Roger was absolutely incredible and that we could trust him. Over wine, steaks, and fireworks, we learned all about Roger’s life story, his passions, and his lessons learned. Roger quickly became very dear to us. We traveled up to Reno and stayed with him at his home many times over the years, and we got together when he visited San Fran. He and Liz even made it out to our wedding last June.
Roger spent that last two decades of his life working on a sonar technology for early detection of breast cancer. He was a passionate, dedicated, joyful man who celebrated every moment, and I’m so grateful I had the chance to meet him. It was such an honor to be able to join in his beautiful life celebration. Over the course of two days, we told stories, laughed and shared about Roger and the incredible impact he had on everyone he knew. He touched so many lives so deeply, and I am so fortunate that I was one of them.
I’ll miss you, Rog. You’ll always be in my heart.