…. present tense

i wish i could find the right words to say, but on days like today, i just don’t think there are any. what i know is that my heart aches for the loss of a bright smile, a kind heart, and a person that filled so many roles. it breaks for the families and friends whose lives have been changed. what does it mean to start to talk about someone in the past tense? it’s not that he was a good person, it’s that he is a good person. he forever will be. and how do you find your way after you have lost your love? and how do you find that happiness, the same one that existed just a few hours earlier?  how can you celebrate someone’s life while mourning their loss?


in 10th grade, we had spanish together.  we sat right next to each other; i think it was 2nd hour, or maybe 7th.  his spanish name was raul, mine was alicia.  and on an ordinary day, he and one of his friends invited me and one of my friends to hang out.  i remember feeling extremely ‘cool,’ because they were both popular and i was a nerd. we went for a drive in a white truck. i remember not knowing what to talk about or how to not be socially awkward, and he broke the silence by offering me an oatmeal cream pie.  i ate two. and as we drove out in the dirt, climbing onto rocks in the middle of nowhere, the truck got high-centered over a rock and some dirt.  we were stuck for what seemed like forever, and i was almost late to being back home. after pushing, pulling, laughing, and calling some friends, we made it back to the road.  that night i stayed up all night throwing up because of food poisoning from the oatmeal cream pies.  and to be honest, that was the last time i ever ate one.  and when it comes down to it, i’ll forever think of you when i see an oatmeal cream pie. 

i can’t say that i have any answers. that i know what your loss feels like, that i know what to do. but i can say that i wish it didn’t happen.  that you don’t deserve this.  that life doesn’t make sense and that i don’t understand. that i hope you can grieve.  that i am here for you always. i can say that you have someone watching out for you, in every possible way. that our whole class is thinking.aching.hurting.supporting you.


on days like today, and on days like the ones that will follow, i think we all wonder how to go on. i wish i knew.


i think you live your life in honor of the one they no longer have here on earth. i think you cry as much as you need to. and i think you take as much time as you need.  you remember those moments of drives to no destination, inside jokes, pointless fights, and endless laughter. and you capture them.  you collect every memory you have and don’t forget them. you put one foot in front of the other and sit down to rest when you need to.  you don’t let go of the love you have.  you fight for your life. you look for your smile. and you remember. you stay close to him in whatever way that you can.  you celebrate his life. the love you had. and the impact he forever has on your heart. 





this is for you, for being able to light up any room. for the amazing person you are.  for my friend who fell in love with you, for the beautiful child you helped raise.  for the parents you make proud. for the memories you created with all of the people whose lives have been changed because of the part you played in theirs. for oatmeal cream pies.



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