Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I've been thinking about a childhood friend the last several hours off and on. He would have turned 29 yesterday. I know this because I remember as a kid him always talking about how his birthday was on the longest day of the year. I also remember because I can visualize the birthday display our second grade teacher had over our classroom lockers - I think I still know about 1/3 of my second grade classmates' birthdays - or at least their birthday month.
I am not going to mention his name or talk about the circumstances of his death because that really isn't anybody's business. If you know him, you probably know the details.
Instead, I want to remember what a neat guy he was. We were in the same carpool and same class from 2nd-6th grade, and had several classes together in middle school and some in high school. He was the kid in elementary school who when given a project while the rest of us were making a presentation with poster board, he was writing, directing, and starring in his own movie on the topic. I remember we had this annoying girl we carpooled with who always left her trash in our cars, so my friend devised a plan that all of the rest of us should save our lunchbag trash on the day of her mom driving and leave our trash in her car. I remember us yelling out the car window at middle schoolers walking home thinking we were so funny and cool. I remember spending hours at Future Problem Solving Bowl with him and our two other teammates. I remember that even though we weren't in the same crowd during our teenage years, he was never too popular to say hi in the hallway, and he didn't complain when he was placed with me and another guy for a project instead of his friends.
He was funny, creative, and an all-around nice guy. I wonder what he'd be doing now if he was still here on earth, what kind of career he would have, and what type of family he would be starting. I wish I would have told him he was a good guy and a great childhood friend. I hope I never look back on other friendships and think, "I wish I would have told them..."