I woke up to the news this morning that one of my school friends passed away. He was the funny kid, rambunctious, and always smiling. We were children together. We passed through each other’s lives at a time when everyone is young and stupid, and made up of lunch table gossip and homework and crazy dreams. I wish now that I’d known him as an adult.
Sometimes it’s that missed opportunity that makes you sad. I’m sad that I’ll never know his grown-up smile. I’m sad for his family, too, and all of his friends and everyone who loved him.
Thirty. I am thirty. He was thirty. That’s still young. Plenty of time left. Or not.
Do any of us ever really have enough time? I don’t know the answer to that. I do know that not one of us makes it out of this alive, even the best of us. So what matters in the end? I think – that you loved, that you were loved, that you smiled and made people smile, that you made the world a little better and not a little worse, that you laughed and made other people laugh, too, that you dreamed and lived and never lost that spark of wildness you had as a child.
Today, I’ll think about a little boy with a contagious smile who delighted in making people laugh, who liked ninjas and once suffered through a Katie J. original short production of “The Highwayman” (playing the title character and being the only good thing about the whole mess). Today, I’ll be grateful I knew him, even if it was only for a little while. Because in the end, that’s all we get.
We’ll go out like lights, but we can shine bright until the end. It’s the shine that people remember.