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…
My Life In Puzzle Pieces
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
I met Tonya in middle school. We had lots of classes together. Even though we did not hang out with each other outside of school I always respected her for being real, caring, and unlike other girls I didn’t like in my school days. She never acted better then others. That was a quality I respected most because I was one girl who didn’t have much of shit growing up and that is really why I kept so many school friends at school and not outside school. Very few were invited to my childhood home. Mostly because I had a schizo crazy mom.
Tonya made me laugh a lot in school. I think that she is a remarkable woman. We are connected now through social media and I’m very honored we are. One day I will visit my hometown and hope to have lunch with her. If you have her in your corner then you are lucky. I’m thankful for her. She has shown me such support for me through social media. She is another friend that accepts me for me. I love her for that. Tonya thank you for being my friend. You will be cherished forever by me.
My Life In Puzzle Pieces
I was working in a dead end corporate job. I was becoming frustrated by the things that were happening in the world when I met Ed. It was a few years after September 11, 2001. I had this strong urge to congregate with like minded people that I couldn’t seem to find in my local area. This brought me to the yahoo chat rooms. Political chat was where I ended up. I was at another point in my life where I was changing on a very deep level. I was starting to question George W. Bush and his intentions on Iraq war. I was researching his family history. I became obsessed with information in the political realm. I realized during this time I had to get involved, be involved and get others involved if I had hoped to change any of it. I voted for the first time when Gore ran against Bush. Ed was a refreshing voice then and now. He knew what I was feeling, what I was searching for, and what I wanted to fight for. He became one of my best friends in that chat room setting.
Ed became such a good friend that we teamed up via internet and created blogs entries we wrote together. We wrote about the RFID chips tracking. We wrote about Blackwater and private armies. We done stories on the legitimate questions surrounding September 11, 2001. We were an awesome team.
It was 2005 and the year I had become disabled. I had back surgery and diagnosed with my tumor and tarlov cyst. It was devastating for me. I went from a hard working, social butterfly to a woman stuck inside with no outlets. I couldn’t walk, drive, or work. During this period in my life I spent more and more time in the chat rooms. Ed was one of the few who showed me compassion and support after being disabled. We spent many hours discussing the woes of the world, the political system, and spent hours trying to come up with solutions to these things.
I only kept three friends from those political chat rooms in my personal day to day life. He is one of them. He knows the real me and has for quite a while now. I trusted him enough to allow him to know more then my chat room persona.
I am thankful for Ed and his friendship. I think that he played a part in me keeping my sanity when I became disabled in 2005. Thank you Ed for your wonderful friendship. I will be forever grateful for you.
My Life In Puzzle Pieces
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.