It’s ironic that my last post was about love and finding that special someone.
Two friends of mine have been dating for a while. It’s weird to me that they are together, as I have known each of them for a long time, but separately. One day, they came into Red Lobster, where I work, and we did the whole, “But wait…hold on…you’re dating? And you know….her? Him?” It was perfect – I loved him like a brother, and she was just fantastic. They were so cute together. After we realized we all knew each other, I even went on a blind/double-date with them…but that’s another story.
I continued to see them at Red Lobster, which is basically my social networking system. Just a few weeks ago, they came in for lunch. I stopped for the usual hug, and she showed me something new – a promise ring. It was absolutely beautiful, and she was so proud, so radiant. My friend then told me it was his grandmother’s ring, and looking at the two of them, right then, I could see how much in love they were. I hugged them both again, congratulated them, and went back to work.
This past weekend was like any other weekend – I came in late Friday, overslept Saturday, etc. But it was different.
My roommate woke me up with some very unsettling news. My two friends were in a really bad car accident. She was in critical condition. He didn’t make it.
He was going to propose at Christmas.
I didn’t believe it at first. I still kinda don’t. It wasn’t until later when I was relaying the information to my mom that it sank in.
Ben, my friend, was only 23 years old. He had two brothers and amazing parents, both of whom I love very much. We were the Etowah Youth Orchestra for years, and we traveled with the EYO to Myrtle Beach, New Orleans, and even to New York to play at Carnegie Hall. He was my date for my junior prom, and that same year, his brother went with one of my best friends. He was such a sweet and selfless person, and he was always there to do anything for anyone. I remember him teasing me and picking on me like a brother would. The first thing he did every time I saw him was give me a great big hug, those kind of hugs where you know the other person really means it.
Cindy, his girlfriend, is still in serious condition, but she is going to pull through. I can only imagine what she has left to go through when she wakes up. She is such a sweetie, and I was so pleased that she found someone that made her happy. I can’t even begin to put myself in her position. I have no clue what lies ahead for her. That is pain so unbearable that I would never wish on anyone.
This really made me think about life and death. We are never promised tomorrow. And I’ve always heard people say it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. Is that true? When you think you have found the person you are going to marry, you really believe that is the person you were meant to be with all along. That is the only person for you.
What do you do when you wake up one day and that person is gone?
Ben had such a short time here. I think back on my life and wonder if the time comes for me to leave this place, will I be ready? How will people reflect back on my life?
Goodbye, my dear friend. We’ve had some good times. You had such a big heart, and you gave yourself whole-heartedly to everyone and everything. I will miss you so much. That’s the hardest thing for me, knowing that I’m never going to see you again. I’ll never forget you. I don’t think any of us will.