Monday, November 19, 2012

Goodbyes are Hard

I was sitting in my office recovering from the most challenging group of the day.

Taking a deep breath, reminding myself that these children are "only in 2nd grade".

And the text from my best friend came in.

"Keith passed away!!!!!"

My first thought was, "huh?"  Because, after all, who the hell texts something like that?   But in a few seconds it hit me and I realized WHO she meant.

A friend to me...a friend to everyone he met...died yesterday.  

At only 41 years old, Keith was too young to die.  He was too full of life, had too much going on, too much to look forward to. 

It's interesting that the death someone who I didn't talk to, text, call, or e-mail with on a daily basis is effecting me like this.  But I think what it shows is that he was that kind of person.  He was so charismatic and wonderful that he made everyone feel like his best friend, and a rock star. 

I'll never forget the first time I ventured into his lounge.  Never one to want to try new things, it was quite an ordeal for my friend to get me to leave our regular Jorge's and head to a new place.  But we did, and within 20 minutes of landing on Keith's patio, we had a new regular place to hangout, and more importantly, a new friend. 
 Liquid Cotton Candy

When we were feeling stressed, or down we'd head to Keith's.  When we were happy or wanted to celebrate, we'd go to Keith's.  We know that he could always whip up something to quench whatever our current mood was.  We knew that he wouldn't mind our antics, chaos, and hysterical laughing.  His lounge was relaxing, and set the mood for ultimate relaxation.  Even on short notice, he'd always have a comfy seat reserved for us.  If I wasn't in the mood for something on the menu, he'd fix something else...that was always "just right".   Plus, he was fun to talk to.  Always sharing an interesting story with his gruff mannerism, he was a never ending source of entertainment, and pleasant company.

I think what I'm learning through my sorrow is a really important lesson.  In our lives we have the ability to make a really big imprint on other people's lives.  We may not know, at the time, that we're making a big mark on that person's life.  That person may not even know it.  But our actions, our interactions, and our words...they are so powerful.  Keith's imprint on my life was bigger than he knew.  I will miss him a lot. 

So I'll take what I'm learning through my tears now back into my life tomorrow.  Make a positive mark on other people's lives, no matter what your own demons, challenges, and struggles are.