From an early age I came to know and understand what death is... I lost my great grandmother when I was five on the day before Christmas Eve and from there, death just became "common". Over my 30 years of life, I have lost family of all ages, as well as friends. I have seen many give their lives for our freedom, whether it was guys I went to school with or those Kev deployed with. I have seen close calls with my husband from his deployments. And, I have seen my own close calls with death - more than once. The most recent was in 2010 and that is something you never forget that has left me a better person. Life is precious and we are each so fortunate for every breath we take. Life is short and should never be taken for granted, just as we should never take for granted those around us.
Losing someone to death is never an easy thing to go through. To lose them at an early age just seems close to unimaginable. A year ago today a dear friend of mine from high school lost his life in a car accident. When I heard the news on Facebook, I felt like I could hardly breathe and quite honestly, didn't believe it to be true. That night and for quite a few days, I would break down into tears. Even now, the tears come so easily when I think about Brian no longer being here.
In so many high school memories, I see Brian. His sense of humor, smiles, and loyal friendship always made things better. I hate to admit this, but it had been well over a year since the last time we talked before his death. I thought about him often because our friendship has always meant so much to me, but life can get crazy sometimes. It breaks me to even write that because not often do we find true friends in this life, but when we do, we should always value those relationships.
I will never forget how he was there for me both times I went into kidney failure back in 2010. I remember feeling miserable, sitting in my hospital room or in my bedroom and talking to B. He kept telling me that I was going to be okay, then would change the conversation to something with bit more humor. I mean, we all know that there is absolutely no humor in the kidney failure. Yet, having a friend to laugh with made things better. Which, of course, talking to Brian the conversation was always full of laughter.
In many ways, I feel guilty that we had not talked the last year of his life and it makes me go back and analyze the friendships in my life. Allowing everyday life to take over is no excuse to not talk to those that we have real friendships with. How often do we keep the same friends in life? How often do people come into our lives, just to leave a short time later? Not every person that we meet is meant to stay - yet we always learn from everyone we cross paths with. Take time to think about that. Take time to tell and show those around you how you feel so they never question it. Each life holds so much value and leaves a story to tell.
Tonight, I ask you to say an extra prayer for Brian's family as they look back on their life with Brian and this past year without him. Say a prayer for their strength. I am sure they need it. And keep them in your prayers from here on out.
Brian was more than a person - he was a son, brother, uncle, grandson, best friend, boyfriend, friend to many, loved by many, and so much more. He will forever be missed...
Hold those you love closer and cherish what you have with them. None of us know what tomorrow will bring...
Thank you Brian for being a friend in my life! Keep shining down! We love you and miss you!