Thursday, June 9, 2011

A 23 year-old

I have a to-do list with high priority stickers half-a-page long. However, my brain can't focus because the priority stickers don't hold a candle to... my heart strings?

I don't know what to do with this feeling. Two nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night and felt the need to check my computer. So, at about 4am I read a fb posting of a former neighbor. His sister had written on his wall that she'd miss him and she'd give anything to see him one last time. I immediately googled him because I grew up with this kid and this was completely out of the blue. Well, for the next 12-ish hours nothing came up. However, more people wrote on his wall and I started to feel sick as reality tried to set in. I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours sitting on the curbs of Rock Creek Run with this kid. We jumped on his trampoline and played hide-and-go-seek around the neighborhood. He, like most of the neighbor kids would ride his bike around... although I was a weird-o who rollar-bladed instead. He taught me about boys' ears and was a great guy-friend to an (like most of them) insecure Jr. High girl. We passed a lot of time together in the summer. Now that I think about it, there were about 9 or 10 of us all within a year or two of each other. We were quite the neighborhood group. While it's been years since I talked to the majority of the neighborhood kids, in the doorbell ringing, roof and curb-sitting memories we'll remain kids forever.

When someone who you don't see every day passes away it often makes it feel less real. I recognize that my experience and loss is completely different from his closest friends' and family's. It feels more like a destruction of a childhood memory than anything else. As long as my belief in heaven remains intact I can stick with the "you'll see him on the other side" mentality. Perhaps the root of this uneasy feeling is the removal of the shade of invincibility that I live under. He was 23. Outside of alcohol related accidents, who, from my life, dies at the age of 23? No one. And why do these articles keep saying "man". He was just a guy, down the street, with perfect blue eyes and a great sense of humor, who once shot me in the leg with a paintball gun.

A guy who a lot of people are really going to miss in their lives. If you pray, please pray for healing and healthy coping for those closest to and those not-so-far from him.