Hey friend. After your sudden accident … I was strong until we buried you on that cold afternoon. Then I lost it. You were my best friend. I loved our late night conversations when you would sneak into my bedroom all hours of the night. Good times, hm?
I knew the things that you were doing. Who knows, maybe I could have talked you out of it. I don’t know. But, I knew... And I disagreed. But, you were your own person and the more I think about it the more I don’t think that anyone could have stopped your reckless behavior.
I think about you often. In fact, I used to dream about you constantly. Us, sitting on beach chairs (which is weird because we never went to the beach together) and me telling you all about my life while you listened with a smile on your face. And then you weren’t there anymore … right before I got married. Aaron says that it’s because he thinks that you are letting me go so that he can take care of me now. Is that it? If so, thanks for taking care of me for those few years … I appreciate it.
I remember that conversation that we had a long time ago … you know … the one where you said that you just KNEW you were going to die young. How did you know, Ryan? How?
I pray that you didn’t hurt when it happened. I pray that you didn’t know. But, I’ve heard otherwise … and that makes my heart beat fast and my palms get sweaty just thinking about you in that kind of pain. But, I know that you aren’t in pain now, right?
You saved lives, by the way. Your group of friends … on that path of destruction? Not anymore. Some went to college. They are holding down jobs. They are doing really well for themselves. Some even have families. I believe that it was because of you. They realized that their own destructive behavior wasn’t working … that they weren’t really immortal. That they could die too. That they could take too many pills. That they could fall asleep at the wheel. That they could wrap their car around that tree. That they could catch on fire. That they could miss out on living life.
Your family is doing well. I baby sat Sweet sweet Gabby and Cammy a few times after I graduated. Gabby didn’t remember me at first … but once she did, she used to curl up in my lap for us to watch television together. Cammy has your room now … and my heart used to pound each time I would go to lay her down. You know who else is doing well? Daniel. I was extremely worried about him after you left. He started wearing signs on his shirt that said things like “Drugs are Good” and I worried like crazy. “Why would he want to follow in his footsteps?” I would ask Jessica. She couldn’t understand it either. Then all of a sudden, he’s graduating with honors and has a full ride to a college in Dallas. I’m so proud of him … and he looks just like you … it’s scary.
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know how things were going. I wanted to share with you the things that I feel. I want to wish you well. I want to tell you that I love you … with sequins. (I still find random sequins in random places, like in my jeans pockets after a wash … is that you?)
January 22, 2003
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