I had a moment today. One of those moments where a memory invades your mind with such abruptness and intensity that you’re forced to pause and allow it to run its course. Patiently you must wait as the past has its way with you, however inconsiderate and unexpected its visit may be. The past is not known for its manners.
This particular memory introduced itself kindly enough, greeting me with a familiar smile. The type of impossibly happy grin one doesn’t soon forget. Just a face and a smile, this memory, attached to tall brown body, lean and lanky with just enough muscle to reveal athleticism. No definite time or place in this moment, just an image.
But as my moment continued, the image became muddled, its presence fading, thus evoking a surge of emotion long suppressed. The smile vanished, replaced by a look of something resembling fear, and then nothing. Blank. Once lively and welcoming, now empty, hollow.
I’m revisited by this image from time to time. Compelled to entertain it until it grows tired of me and moves on, its weight lingering uncomfortably, like a heavy wool blanket. The image, as you may have guessed, is of a friend. A friend whose life, though short, was abundant and purposeful, so vibrant and significant it remains permanently and subconsciously ingrained in my soul.
Long after these moments pass, I am left burdened by an overwhelming sense of loss. There is no feeling of regret, no longing for answers or closure, just the sting of grief accompanied by the precipitous reminder of how swiftly the ones we love can be taken from us.
Which brings me to you. On days when moments like this one catch me off guard and knock the breath out of me, I cannot help but imagine what it would feel like to wake up in a world where, suddenly, you were no longer with me. I don’t wish to delve into the details of how utterly and horribly sad it would be – of course it would be sad. It would be devastating. That said, I think the worst of it would be the missed opportunity to tell you what you mean to me, how incredibly important your existence is in this mad and chaotic world.
So often I’m reminded that you’re not simply a thing that I have found, labeled, defined and claimed as my own – something neatly packaged and one dimensional. You are not, in fact, a thing at all. You are a person, a unique individual. A being with a heart that beat and a soul that thrived long before I was even a blip on your radar. Every day I take advantage of your unwavering presence in my life. I forget to appreciate your passion. Your generosity. Your love for me and for life and for cooking and traveling and nature and music and so many things that I’m probably yet to discover.
I’m taking this moment to let you know that I’m thankful for the little things that you do for no other reason than to make me happy. I’m thankful that you never leave the house or hang up the phone without telling me you love me. I’m thankful that you take the time to share your interests and emotions with me. I’m thankful for all the support and advice you give me and for the times when you know I just need someone to listen. And I’m thankful that you’ll read this post and tell me its wonderful (even if we both know it’s a bit sappy). I am so thankful for you.
And I wanted you to know. Because, even if this post was brought about by the memory of a tragic event from the past, you are my present and my future. You make the tragic memories and the nightmares and the doubt and the disappointment – and all the little things that contribute to life’s obstacles – okay. You help me find purpose and hope and constantly encourage me to keep on pushing through. You make me better. And I’m telling you all this not out of the fear of uncertainty, but because you deserve to be recognized just for doing a really awesome job at being you.
So this is me saying thank you and plastering my love for you across the blogosphere because, you know what, it’s about time.