Today I found out that a good friend of mine just lost his sister. She has been sick for a long time, about 5 years. She fought the good fight and fought it hard. She lasted much longer than any of the doctor's predictions and she did it with heart and soul and pure, dig-in-and-don't-give-up determination.
But she must have just got tired. Her time finally came. She left behind her family and her son, and so many friends.
The visitation will be this week. I will go for him, and be there for him. I know he will be busy and it will be crowded and he won't be able to spare the time and energy for much of a visit. But if I can look in his face, give him a hug and share some strength and love, I think I will have done well.
It will break my heart to be there. I have cried off and on through much of the day, as I think about it, and as I hear from him.
He was one of my best friends in high school and of my entire life. I think of him often, usually when certain songs come on the radio (Nightswimming by REM, Fool in the Rain by Led Zepplin, and pretty much anything by the Watchmen). He is a good person and a good friend. He is a total math nerd. He used to be able to drink like a fish, although I don't know if he does anymore. He is a (relatively) new dad. I think he would be an amazing father. He relies on sarcasm and humor to hide a lot of his feelings, but when he decides to share, they will break your heart. I am privileged enough that he has shared with me a couple of times. He makes amazing mixed tapes. He always, ALWAYS remembers my birthday and writes me a note.
A couple of years ago, he sent me an email. It's the type of email that I have always wanted to get. It came out of left field, we hadn't talked for a long time. It was about the impact that I had made on his life, and how I had helped him become the man he was today. I saved it. On really bad days, I re-read it.
So, now he is my heart and my thoughts. I will try and be the best friend I can be for him. Please, don't let me fail.
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "now, be there and be a friend".