Oh friend! What would I say to you if I had one more day? I would say you are loved and missed and your legacy lives on. Your short, precious life was taken too soon, but your life has impact and touches so many lives. Selfishly, I would have liked to have you around as my friend for one more day, one more year, one more lifetime. You were spontaneous and lively and pulled out a little bit of my shy personality, with each giggle, funny story, and each game of hide and seek.
Do you remember when we were 3 and met in pre-school? I do. We would play together after school and as we grew older, like 6 or 7, you said you would marry me someday. You were so adamant about that. Your mom and I joke around that she’s my honorary mother-in-law. She is truly an awesome lady and I wish you could know her now. Our friendship has endured and we have a special bond that is so unique, tethered together by our mutual love for you. We both dream about what you would be like today. We play the “what if” game and it makes us smile, because we like to focus on the good.
Can I just say, I’m sorry? I’m sorry that I didn’t muster up enough courage to go to your funeral. I couldn’t bear the thought of saying goodbye to you that way. It was too much for my child’s heart to cope with such tragedy. Will you forgive me? We were only 9. I turned 10 just a few days after you died. There was no true celebrating my life when I was mourning yours. I was so conflicted about how to celebrate in the valley. Every year, my birthday is somewhat melancholy, but I choose to honor you by celebrating the good things. You would want me to laugh… and eat cake.
I also want to say thank you. Thank you for showing me that life can be lived without hesitations. Thank you for showing me that boys can be sweet and thoughtful and full of love. Thank you for your boldness. Your memory inspires me to be a better mom to my own children, having grace for when the boys are rowdy and patience for when they are emotional and when to take a deep breath when they are bouncing off the wall balls of energy. You taught me that life can be taken away without warning. You taught me that you don’t always get to say goodbye in person. You taught me compassion. Thank you for the sweet memories of a friendship unbridled by the drama that can encompass young people.
The heartache of losing you, my friend, crushed me. You were the first person in my young life that I remember losing. God used it for good in my life. He did. All that brokenness was glued back together by His love. I turned to Him. I didn’t know it at the time, but He was laying a foundation of faith when losing you made no sense. He taught me real life lessons about life and death and friendships and love. He prepared me for the many valleys life would throw at me in the coming years. He allowed me to know grief so I can rejoice in life. He taught me to choose joy.
Until Heaven my friend…