Taken at my 18th birthday party - this post goes out to the awesome guy to my right, Tyson.
This has been quite the week. Sometimes I hope for a momentous week and sometimes I prefer the weeks stay unremarkable... this week falls within the latter.
On Thursday morning I spent a couple of hours in our bi-weekly Sr. Team meeting at work. It was fairly tame considering the amount of work we've all be doing lately, but a lot of work issues were on my mind. I sped back to my office after the meeting to quickly get started on another project while I had a few minutes at my desk only to see that I had a handful of texts from a couple of friends down in Texas. The last time this happened was in 2002 and it was a handful of messages on my answering machine to announce the death of a close friend (things have changed in the past 10 years). These texts were very similar - Tyson, a close friend of mine from my Jr. High/High School days, passed away the day before.
Whatever work project that I was about to start was quickly forgotten. My heart instantly turned inside out. This isn't news you expect... ever... let alone when you and your friends are barely into their 30s. I had not seen Tyson for quite some time and only kept up with him on Facebook. I mean, at least we posted on each other's walls for birthdays and marraige congrats and when he announced his twins made it safely into the world. I am afraid, as wonderful as Facebook is, that it has lead to a complacent upkeep of old friends.
Tyson had been a close friend. What started out as the most redonk crush ever (like, could not stop thinking about him and wrote his name on every notebook I had) early in Jr. High, turned into a great friendship before 9th grade was over. He came to my birthday parties, my regular parties (parties were popular back in the 90s), he did a mock strip tease at one of the parties when we were 15 on a dare and then brought it back as the main attraction for my 16th birthday complete with costume (don't worry, we were young, my mom, the party supervisor, was modest, she never let it get further than it needed to). We competed together in lip sync competitions in 9th grade and he, along with his best friend, made my biology class both highly entertaining and extremely stressful (just ask me how i feel about having my tennis shoes tied to my desk over and over again and having to look at rubber bands from braces wrapped around your desk neighbor's tongue while they taunt you when you should be learning about frog dissection... okay, I'll tell you, I hated it although my mom said it was flirting... I didn't buy it).
However, when college came, we went our seperate ways. He attended Texas A&M and I went down to UT.
And that was that.
And now he's gone. My heart hurts for his close friends, for his wife, for their tiny new babies. My heart cries for his family, his mom and his brother.
My heart knows how to react, buy my brain isn't sure how to process this. He's the 3rd guy who I was close to in one way or another that I've lost since graduation. First was Chris, then Ben, now Tyson. Does this happen to everyone? Do we all lose good friends this quickly? It seriously has me considering what it would take to pack up and move south to find a house right next to my best friend. Life is so precious. I know this. Sometimes I forget it but I hate how I'm reminded of it.
In conclusion, I didn't decide to post this to make people sad. I did it as a reminder that one moment can change a life.
Please live yours beautifully.