There are certain moments which put your life, and your problems, in rather harsh perspective.
My first boyfriend ever died yesterday. He had just turned 30 in February. When I saw it on Facebook, I didn’t believe it. I was thinking “Wow, that’s a really cruel joke to play. April Fool’s Day was a week ago.” Then his sister posted confirmation. I was completely stunned. I haven’t seen him since he graduated high school (2002) and I only recently found him on Facebook. We dated for all of 4 months over 15 years ago. He was my first kiss and gave me my first hickey (much to the great dismay of my mother). He also had the most ridiculous reason for dumping me I’ve heard since we started dating. There were rumors constantly flying around that he was gay. In a Catholic high school, that’s a loaded statement. He denied it vehemently and kept a string of girlfriends after me. He was a very talented singer and actor which only fueled the gay rumors. Everyone kept telling me he was gay and questioning why I was dating him. He dumped me, so that ended things swiftly. When I was in college, I heard he came out. It didn’t surprise me. I was happy that he had the courage to lay it out there in his very Catholic household. I would idly see his posts on Facebook. He appeared to have reinvented himself. He started going by his full name and gave a pass to everyone who met him before his college days to call him by his nickname. He’d found a partner. There was nothing indicating anything was wrong. Then just like that, he was gone. I’m planning on going to the memorial service this week even though I doubt his sister will remember me.
I read a quote from, of all people, Teller of Penn & Teller. He was talking about rehearsing in the theater and the thought crossed his mind that someday, he won’t ever walk into that theater again. His heart dropped at the thought. Then he said, think about something like that for your own life. Let your heart drop. Then remember that day isn’t today. So I let my heart drop and reminded myself that today is a day I’m still here. Today is a day everyone I love is still here. Give it a try. I promise it will provide the good shake we sometimes need.
Rest well, Jeff. Rest well.