This is a Diamond Crown robusto in the Maduro wrapper.  This was one of my earlier favorites, particularly right after Michael passed away.  I don’t know how many of these I smoked, but they all tasted good. I still keep a couple in my humidor.  They also come in a Connecticut wrapper, and those are alright, but I really prefer the spiciness and intensity of a darker wrapper.

I’ve come to learn that age doesn’t matter when it comes to losing a child.  I think there is something hardwired into the universe that says “parents die first.”  That’s just how things are supposed to work out.

Years ago, I came to friend someone who was in his late 50s who had a terminal form of cancer.  Now, when I met him the life expectancy of this form of cancer was only a few years, and he had been diagnosed two years prior.  Fortunately, the treatment for multiple myeloma advanced very quickly and with that so did the life expectancy.  So he was definitely the beneficiary of those medical advances, and I was the beneficiary of having a good friend for ten years before he passed away.

I remember meeting his mom.  She would have been in her late 70s or early 80s at that point.  The day I met her we were going over there for a cookout or something similar.  I remember that I was with my wife and I was getting a box fan out of the car to carry into the house.  

Isn’t it funny?  Here is this guy dying of cancer, here is his mom, and here are me and my wife meeting the mom and dad, and yet, somehow, here is this fucking box fan that needed to be brought into the house.  And, I, as a man, felt it my duty to carry this box fan.  It seems hilarious looking back, but that’s how it was.

Anyway, his mom came up to me in the driveway and we talked for just a minute when she said to me “Do you know?  Do you know about Jon and the cancer?”

By this point she had tears in her eyes.  I said, “Yeah, I know.  I’m really sorry.”

“It just isn’t right” she said.  “A parent should never have to bury their child.”

I think about that moment a lot since losing Michael, because she is right.  A parent should never have to bury their child.