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This is for you Drew….

Drew Lykins

(9/16/1977-7/24/2014)

 

It’s funny all the things in this world that don’t have much meaning to them. Well, until you lose someone special to you. Things such as lightning bugs at night, a day that mimics a distant old memory of a moment you spent with that person, things like the smell of fresh cut grass, a color you look upon from an old clothing article worn, the sound of a motorcycle revving its engine, or the smell of an oil spill from a mechanics garage….

I believe these things finally retain some sort of meaning to us after we lose someone because we want so badly to be near the person who is gone…

I find myself wanting to see stars in the night sky and lightning bugs flying around freely. I find myself wanting to see a red bandana; I want to smell the fresh grass after a rainfall, even a certain smell from the mud beneath my feet just to catch a glimpse of a childhood memory I know is there and I want to just be in that moment again even if it is only in my mind. That sound from a familiar song that reminds you of a smile they had.  I find myself wanting to lie in the grass gazing it up at the stars smoking that old familiar brand of cigarettes just to feel close to a memory.

You find yourself going over all the time and space in between the years that have passed. Dredging up, from deep inside, this solemn feeling of regret; regret that you have taken advantage of the fact that nothing lasts forever like you hoped.  Regret that you kept telling yourself there is always time. Saying quietly next time I will or I always have tomorrow. Then the day comes when someone tells you that special person is gone forever. You realize in that exact moment of the receiving the news how wrong you were about time, wrong about how life is tough not fragile, and how you wish you could have made just a few more memories, just a few more to add meaning to all the things you thought were miniscule, things surrounding you like the sound of rushing traffic, a cotton ball travelling in the wind, or the smell of brownies in the oven.

My dear friend Drew is gone. He left this world Thursday afternoon and these are the things I’ve been going through the last few days. I am heartbroken and I haven’t figured out how to start the healing process yet. I do not believe you heal from loss completely, you just learn to go on in a new normal of existence with that person absent. This will be the first friend I’ve gone back home to say goodbye too and that is because I loved that boy so much. I have memories with him as far back as I can remember. I feel good about a few things. I feel good that he did know I loved him and he knew he was an important friend of mine. He knew I would have moved the world for him if I had the power. I feel good that I believe deep in my heart he felt the same. The streets we grew up on were tough sometimes. Life at home wasn’t always pancakes and soda pop. School wasn’t always a playground. One thing was always constant though Drew and Rachel running together.

I look back on days of summer when I couldn’t wait to get outside to my bike so I could ride to see him. I look back at the times he snuck to my bedroom window at dark just to say what was up. What a ride. Many people around the neighborhood and school thought for sure we would have ended up being romantically involved, married, boyfriend/girlfriend but it never went that way. I think he loved me and he knew it would have ruined the years of memories we had built. It would have ruined our friendship. He was right if that is what he was thinking. Our love was more of a brotherly/sisterly love than a long lasting love that goes into marriage.

I can see him walking though our old high school, sitting at a desk in some classroom, smoking a cigarette across from the band rooms annex, walking down Hanna towards my bus stop, smiling or giving me a hand gesture as I held a camera, I can see him sitting in the back of the bus saving me a seat, looking back as I was deciding to flee the hometown to better myself with him telling me to go and I can’t help but smile.

Tears start to fall when I am done rolling those memories through my mind because I realize there is no chance of creating new memories, no more conversations, no more pictures to be taken, no more time left….because life is so fragile.

Drew I will love you forever my friend. Save me a seat up there …in the back…I remember we like it there…

 

love-friendship

My Life In Puzzle Pieces -Jessica Hamm Wert

My Life In Puzzle Pieces

cousins

Jessica Hamm Wert

Jessica is one of my closest family members. I have always thought of her as a sister, and I always will! There isn’t a memory growing up that doesn’t include her. I love her more then anyone could possibly know.

We did everything together our whole lives growing up. Her mom is the closest aunt I have. Jessica is one in my family who knows every dirty secret I have. She is one of the most trusted family members I have. I would do anything in my power for her.

We fought like sisters, we made up like sisters, we grew like sisters and I will die continuing to call her my sister.

When I left Ohio at age nineteen we lost touch a little. I went to clean myself up and find a better way to be me. Through the years I’ve missed not being there in town with her. I have missed not being around to see her beautiful children grow. I have missed not being there for a support system to her but she has always understood that my hometown is not a place for me. She knows as well as I do that if I lived there again I’d be right back on drugs and most likely would have been dead by now.

I get homesick from time to time and she is one reason I do. I know though I can’t go back there…it would be a bad outcome for me. I’d rather love her in a distant then be close to her and be the addict I was for so long. I am not proud of that but she understands it.

We are connected with social media. Hell she was one of the few who I opened a facebook account for. I wanted to be connected to her so I wouldn’t be missing out on so much in her life.

We danced for hours on weekends. We skated at the local rink on weekends. We obsessed over Guns N Roses together. Every memory I have of her in my life is cherished…even the fights we have had. She truly is a blessing in my life.

She was there in the worst of times I’ve had, and she has been there for some of the best of times I’ve had. I cherish her like no other and that will never change. Jess thank you for being a cousin, a best friend and a sister to me. I will love you forever.

She is one of the most caring, giving people I know in my life and if you are lucky enough to have her in your life don’t hurt her because I will break your face. 

My Life In Puzzle Pieces -James Allwardt

My Life In Puzzle Pieces

friends

James Alltwardt

I have known James for a long time. His smile caught my interest in school. My favorite class in high school was speech class which we had together. He helped it be a blast for me. He is a special kind of guy. He has one of the biggest hearts one could have. He was always so sweet in school. I think he is just as sweet now as he was back then.

Years after I had left Ohio I was going through some old papers, and pictures I had from school and found a letter I had written to him but never gave him. Apparently we dated for like a week though I didn’t remember this until I read the letter I wrote. We never even kissed according to my letter I had written then. Now that I look back on that letter I wish I would have kept it instead of trashing it. It would have been a nice thing to share with him as an adult. Embarrass myself real good it would have. Haha

The letter was basically telling him he was too good for me and that I was too messed up of a girl to allow him to waste time on me. I ended the letter with love Rachel I will always remember your smile….and I did.

I had mentioned this to him as well, and he didn’t remember either so I didn’t feel as bad with not remembering myself. The one thing I hate most about growing older…the things you forget over time. I wonder what else I might not be remembering about James and my connection back then. All I know is I’m glad we have friendship today.

He still has that great smile I loved in our school days. We are connected with social media and I’m thankful he is my friend. He has grown into a fine man and he is a great friend. Thank you James for the memories and the friendship. You will forever be cherished by me.

My Life In Puzzle Pieces -Thomas Kegley

My Life In Puzzle Pieces

guybestie

Thomas Lee Kegley Jr.

 

Well what can I say about Tom. Man he is one of the best guy friends I have in my life. He was always so sweet on me in school, and even now as adults. I am a lucky gal to have him as a friend. He has defended me, been a shoulder for me, and helped brighten me in dark times. He stood by me even as fucked up as I was in high school.

The two of us were quite different. I skipped class, done drugs, smoked cigarettes, and lived like a rebel. He was the clean guy. Now that I look back he was the safe guy. I never felt threatened by him ever. I never felt like he was after a piece of ass and I never felt like he judged me for being so fucked up. He made me laugh a lot.

I have a few great memories with him that I cherish. The best one was from our high school days. I wanted to skip first period and wanted him to live on the wild side and skip with me. You see I never viewed him as the bad boy. He was the good guy I wanted to corrupt. I laugh even now thinking on it. I have to admit I crushed on him slightly back in high school but fought it because I knew it would have ruined what he was for me if we had dated so I kept my mouth shut. I believe that is why we are still friends today. I often wondered if he felt the same way in high school but never asked. It doesn’t really matter now. What does matter is we are great friends forever.

He skipped that day with me or attempted to. Our principle caught us in the park across from the school and we decided that running was the best option. We hid from her in bushes. When she went back towards the school we came out and I knew we were busted so I had to come up with a plan. I felt so guilty that I had talked Tom into skipping with me and I felt I had to get him out of this. So I told him I had it covered and not say anything when we got to her office. Believe it or not we got away with two passes to class. I can’t even recall what I told her but she bought it hook, line and sinker. What a great memory.

He is a sweet guy with a great sense of humor. I love him and his friendship. Thank you Tom for being such a great guy friend to me all these years and the years to come in the future. We are FOREVER connected pal. 

My Life In Puzzle Pieces -Marcella Shrock

My Life In Puzzle Pieces

cousinsloveforever

Marcella Shrock

My blood, my cousin, and my friend. Growing up the age difference between the two of us kept us from growing up like some other cousins I have but I love her just the same. She has always been protective of me and I am thankful for that.

We are like minded even though we are spread farther with age difference. We are alike in many crazy ways. I always viewed her as wild in her youth…I was wild too.

We lived. We learned. We grew. We live far apart but are always connected by blood and that loyalty doesn’t get severed easily. I love you Cella and will always cherish you being my blood.