Today would have been your 33rd birthday. Wednesday marks one year since you were taken from us. I’ve smiled, laughed and cried today. I looked through pictures of our adventures and of your adventures with others – their stories in which you couldn’t wait to tell me about. Some would tell me to remember the good times, others would tell me that my tears are “to be expected”. My doctor would say there’s room for both. All I know is that I miss you. More than words, more than anyone could possibly imagine. When I need a hug or advice, you’re still my go to. I think of what you’d say during tough times and now that I’m curious about adventuring, I keep hearing you tell me “you can always come home”. I feel you when I look at our pictures and sometimes when I’m talking to you in the car or during therapy. I feel your hugs. I can hear you answer the phone and say “herro?!”. I hear our I love you’s as we say goodbye. You were cool as a cucumber about damn near everything, while I was a constant ball of chaos and stress. We made quite the team, didn’t we? I regret that you left this world not knowing just how much I loved you. Rather, how I loved you? But that’s a story I’ll keep between us. You know how I feel, what I regret, what I would’ve changed if I could. None the less, you are my best friend. Here or not, I’ll never let that go. Ever. And if I could bring you back, I would.
Part of my determination is driven by you, by wanting to honor you. You lived life to the fullest, always chasing dreams and having fun. You lived more in your 32 years than most do in a lifetime. I ALWAYS admired that about you. You made me brave when I was otherwise riddled with anxiety. You made me laugh, whether I wanted to or not. You coaxed me out when I tried to hide. You brought out the bright and shiny in me. We used to sing “Good Life” by OneRepublic and we’d text each other whenever we heard it. You moved to California and back, a few times actually. And whenever I would talk about moving there to be near you, you’d tell me I could always come home if I wasn’t happy. Then a job opening came up in Colorado and you told me the same thing. That was your MO, go for it, try it out, take a chance! And if it doesn’t work out, you can always come home. I never did take those chances and I don’t regret it. I had a good life going here and was on my way to making some of my dreams come true. But now that things have changed for me, I’m not afraid anymore… I watch the Baja 1000 and think “I should be there!”, but instead of thinking it’s not realistic, I think “Maybe next year! Maybe I could join a race team! Maybe I could drive a trophy truck someday!”. I think about traveling and although it would be hard with my mobility and pain issues, I’m still convinced I could find ways to make it work, if I want it bad enough. It’s tough with so many naysayers in my life, but not you, you’d be excited, you’d tell me to not let anything or anyone stop me… I thank you for that.
I am better in so many ways for having known you. And I know you are up there, guiding me along this crazy journey I’m on now. Until we meet again, happy birthday my friend!