We are too young for this to happen to us. My friends shouldn't be loosing their parents. We are not built for this or ready for this. But then again, how would I know? I am a rarity. Of course I wouldn't be ready. I still have 3 of my 4 grandparents. I'm almost 33 years old and I don't know anyone else my age with THREE grandparents. So how could I be ready? And how could I think that one of my friends is ready? I live in this little bubble that isn't normal. It isn't reality. But it's me.
I lost Papa, my dad's dad, when I was a freshman in college. Can you even believe that? I was 18 before I didn't have 4 grandparents! I still remember the day he died. And I like to think that it was exactly on his terms. He knew that most of the family would be together. And we would be there for the ones that weren't as strong and needed someone to lean on. Everyone had someone. And we laughed that night. Or at least I did. When the nurse brought out the bag with his personal items, his teeth were on top. If you knew Red Olvey, you knew he NEVER took out his teeth. The irony of that moment had perfect timing. I remember being strong and holding it together at the funeral until the service was over. As we were walking out of the chapel, I saw my best friend. And two minutes later he hugged me so tight and so hard that it felt like the saddness was being squeezed out of me.
Everytime I hear "Far Behind" by Candlebox, I think of my cousin, Clayton. We lost him a little over a year after my grandfather. And I still remember the call from my mom. I was a sophmore in college living on campus. I was on my way out of the dorm when she called. I got halfway down the stairs before I lost it. I stood in the stairwell crying my eyes out. I drove home the next day and hated myself the whole way home. For the last few years, I was...not mean...but not nice. I can't think of the right word and it still bothers me. Everytime I hear "Far Behind" on the radio, I stop surfing. No matter how much of the song is left. And I think about Clayton. I'm trying to remember a time that he wasn't smiling, and I can't. He was the kind of person that really would have made a difference in this world. He was one of a kind.
Clayton is on the far right, behind our grandfather's truck, with his brother Vance, Uncle Van (my dad), and his father Mike. This was taken about a month before he died.
So while I have lost some absolutely amazing people that I think about all the time, I haven't lost many. So how can I understand what one of my best friends is going thru? And what a few other friends have gone thru recently? We are too young to loose our parents. And it's not fair. So the best I can do for my sweet friend is to do whatever she asks me to. And let her know that I'll be there to hold her hand, give her a hug, and hand her a tissue. All she has to do is say the word.