I am the type of person who has a hard time “feeling” emotions like sadness, anger, hurt, and despair. I typically cruise past them on my way to happier times.
In the past couple days, a friend of mind passed away quickly due to aggressive cancer and I find myself not being able to just cruise past the emotions. I’m feeling them and I having a hard time processing them.
His name was Brandon and he was a joyful soul.
I met him at summer camp and at the time, I was struggling with self confidence due to my weight problems, weighing almost 500 pounds at 18 years old. Brandon was a big dude, but he was much taller as well. I looked up to him and found safety in his presence because I knew I wasn’t alone. I was new to this place, but he was known and had friends. He was confident, loved, and accepted.
I remember thinking that if he could be those things, then I could be as well.
I got to know him over the next few summers, and learned the kind of person he was. A joyous, lovable, intelligent, kind, and gentle soul. He loved most everyone that he met, and always made time to talk. He was the kind of person who truly cared what you had to say. He listened as well as he spoke, and would offer support without question.
I remember the support that I got from him early on at camp. He talked to me, cared about what I had to say and cared about learning who I was. He made me feel welcome and loved. When we were done speaking, he stood up and gave me a hug.
Man…..what a hug.
Over the years I would come to absolutely love those hugs. As we continued to get to know each other, those hugs got tighter, stronger, and longer. Two really big dudes hugging tightly is a special thing to witness, I’m sure, but I loved those hugs so much. He is the only person I have ever had to really reach upwards into the sky to hug.
When we hugged, I felt like I had a brother. Someone who had gone through some of the same body feelings that I had felt and came out the other side. Someone who I could look up to. Someone who I wanted to become. Someone who made me feel like I belonged.
Life is fleeting.
Sometimes we tell the people we love how we feel about them, and what they mean to us. Sometimes we intend to tell them and just innocently forget.
Sometimes we don’t want to be awkward and so we never speak up.
I know I have told Brandon that I loved him, and I hope that I was able to make him feel that love. But I don’t know if I ever got a chance to tell him what he truly meant to me, and how he was one of a few key people that I have looked up to over the years.
I always intended on having that conversation, and now I never will.
Brandon made a lot of people feel loved in his life. He was a teacher, a brother, and a friend to all.
I will always look up to him, and I will always cherish those hugs.
Anything can happen in the course of our time here on earth. Connections are made, and paths cross. Eventually all those paths come to an end, and there will always be regrets somewhere on the other side.
Try to leave as few regrets as possible.
Call the people you love. Write a letter, leave a message, or do whatever you have to do.
Life is fleeting.