It’s only fitting that you would be on my mind this weekend. There’s a HUGE movie premiere today – Star Wars: The Force Awakens – so it makes sense… Movies were, after all, the thing that brought us together, as we bonded over shared favorites and new recommendations during work at a video store. As a matter of fact, the first several times we went anywhere outside of work revolved around movies. Even years after we split up and went our separate ways, movies were a shared interest that would forever keep us friends.
So today, like so many other times over the past two years, a single thought keeps going through my head: It isn’t fair that you aren’t here now.
That thought revisits often and some days it’s particularly difficult to swallow… You would have been one of the first people I know to buy tickets for the new Star Wars film. I felt like I should have been at the front of the line for the first showing at the best theater in town out of loyalty to your memory. The first gift you ever gave me was your box set of the original Star Wars trilogy in “letterbox”, because I only had episode one. We stood and had a heated discussion about the difference in widescreen ratios and which episode was the best, so it was a nerd connection from the beginning. I can still remember, in fact, standing in line years later each time the original three movies were re-released in the theaters (1997?), hoping to get the right seats in the audio “sweet spot“. We did that for most big blockbuster releases for years, if possible, and had the process down to a science. A huge portion of my movie memories involve you in some way, and I can’t walk into many theaters without smiling as I hear the phrase “buttery toots” run through my mind. haha!
There are too many things you didn’t get to do before you were gone. Too many new movies, like The Forces Awakens, that you didn’t get to see. Moments you didn’t get to share. Carter just got married, you know.. and you really should be around to celebrate. Jen changed her Facebook profile picture to an older shot of the two of you in Hawaii recently and it’s lovely… Speaking of Facebook, Kim posts new pictures of Alex every couple of weeks and you wouldn’t believe how much she’s grown!! She’s so beautiful! She misses you, I’m sure… They all do. They deserve you around. And it makes me so angry sometimes that you’re not here. One of those moments in life that seems so unjust. So unfair.
It’s only fitting, I suppose, that you would be on my mind this weekend due to the premiere. How was I to know, however, that you would also come to mind because I discovered your grandfather passed away yesterday… He was such a unique and wonderful person and one of your best friends. I heard the news this morning and my heart broke a little because I always considered him family. He was not the same when I saw him at your funeral and I’m glad that’s not the memory that comes to mind when I think of him. Instead, I see him laughing at a joke the two of you are sharing over a family meal at your mother’s house. I see him animated and engaged discussing a story or memory he is sharing. I see the two of you hugging each other before making plans for your next get together. He’s headed your way now, so I hope you’ve got a chessboard set up and ready to play…
I don’t talk about you much anymore – our lives took different paths before you were gone and most people I see didn’t know you well enough to chat about memories of you. You’re still on my mind, however, at random moments or when some odd thing reminds me of you. Like a Danny Elfman song on any soundtrack new or old. Or when a movie or video game comes out I know you would flip over. Sometimes I’ll be looking at t-shirts and see an image or joke that is exactly your brand of humor… or hear a song that you used to repeat over and over just to get it stuck in my head (“doo-doo, doo doo doo doo, mahna mahna”). Thank you for those memories. For those moments that are now more dear simply because they were so finite in nature. Those things still occasionally have the power to make me sad, but mostly they make me smile. Smile because I was so blessed to know you. Smile because I know you lived every moment of every day to the fullest with no regrets. Smile because you were one of the best friends I’ve ever had…
It will probably be a bit bittersweet waiting to file into the theater to see the new Star Wars movie, but I know I’ll be smiling when the phrase “buttery toots” go through my mind. Thank you for that… 🙂
in memory of Josh and his wonderful GPa, Jimmie