RIP Rudy Mata

On Tuesday while I was feeling sad about my deceased son's birthday, a dear friend of mine was racing across town to save his daughter from her abusive husband. Said abuser shot Rudy four times, killing him.

It's hard to believe. Things like this don't happen to people like Rudy, not to Rudy.

I met his wife, Sandy, close to 25 years ago when I first moved to Texas, a few months before Pat and I married. We worked together and she became my first real friend out here.

Our families got together every so often and Pat and Rudy, both into music, got along great as well. Rudy had a voice like velvet. He was funny and sweet and you could see how much Sandy was in love with him by how they teased and interacted and how she sparkled when talking about him. I knew how much she cared for him before I ever met him.

He was always a protector. I remember having a conversation about how one of the things he had looked for in a house was that the children's bedrooms were in the back of the house, rather than the front just for added security for his kids against the world.

It doesn't surprise me that one call from his daughter would carry him to her rescue. That's who he was. He lived as a protector. He died as a protector.

I haven't seen Sandy and Rudy for years as our lives had gotten busier. I talked to Sandy right after Chase died. Well, DMed. We even made tentative plans to get together for lunch or something, but when it came time to make those plans, I didn't. I wasn't in a frame of mind to get together with anybody, knowing how frail my hold on emotions were then and I didn't want to reacquaint with an old friend while bawling my eyes out.

Now she's in the same boat and my heart is devastated for her.

The funeral is today.