A year ago today, Monday, February 20, 2012, my childhood best friend was killed in a tragic freak incident. We had been best friends since we were 12. Through puberty, high school, college, marriages,divorces, babies, death – we were together through it all. Many people have had a really difficult time understanding our relationship. We were never an item. We were never a couple. We didn’t consider each other brother or sister either. We had been, until his death, best friends. We knew things about each other that no one else knew, and we also knew things about each other that the other didn’t know. We had a 6th sense for and about each other. He would know without even talking to me when something was going on. Our friendship was also strengthened by the fact that his parents were like my 2nd parents growing up, became like grandparents to my daughter, and we shared holidays and celebrations together for 27 years. His parents and mine were friends. His oldest brother was actually my very first “boyfriend” and I was there when his youngest brother was born. Our birthdays were 2 months and 10 days apart and we celebrated each “monumental” birthday together.
Shortly after his death, I had this dream. I sent his mother a text letting her know that I had such a strong sense of peace from the dream that I actually painted the canvas above.
Death is a weird thing. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing a year ago when his Dad called me. From that day, the emotions that manifested were actually the start to the book that I’d put off writing. February 20, 2012 was one of the most pivotal points in my entire life – for many reasons.
I was going to share the prologue that I wrote that day, but when I got to reading it again, I realized out of context it didn’t belong in this post. This morning I literally sat in my bathroom and wept for a good 20 minutes before getting on with my day. While his death and ultimately the loss we live with each day hurts, the words I wrote a year ago pale in comparison to what I feel today. Today, while there are bits and pieces of sadness, there isn’t the grief and despair I’d grown so accustomed to the last 5 years. When driving to work this morning, the sky was painted almost exactly the same color of the canvas pictured above and it was a reminder of the peace that I had dreamt about a year ago. John is, and deserves, so much more than tears and heartache. He is laughter. Late night parties. Broken toes. Team ropings. Kept promises. Italian food. Friendship fulfilled. Love, pure. He is an intricate part of me, and my heart, and there is no room for anything but joy.