Your life is imprinted by the company you keep and those who keep you. As a young girl, the boys and men you meet set forth an expectation that you will either try to live up to or down.
One of the young men who helped me understand what it meant to look after young girls and LADIES has transitioned.
Jeff was my best (teen) friend's brother. I had a slight crush on him the way all kids have a slight crush on their friend's older sibling. Plus, he was a part of the high school's all-star basketball team:The "Five Fingers." The crew the whole city would come out and watch. Gosh, I had to be on my way into middle school when I first saw him play. I didn't meet him until a few years later, after he had graduated. But soon after I met him the magic wore off ... it a good way. I was just another little sister he had to tolerate, laugh at, and course correct toward the "straight and narrow." As another classmate recalled, Jeff always had a kind word and knew what to say. He was a good man.
While it has been some time since I talked with his sister, he and I were in touch regularly via Facebook. His last post to me ended up being 3 days before he died.
And it's not just that he died. It's that he died at his own hand. And I don't even know what else to say about that that doesn't begin and end with, "Why?"
But I know that "Why?" part isn't important because what is done is done. And there's no real future in lingering outside of the pleasant memories... so I'll work to keep from doing that. And I'll pray that his family, my friends, find a way to do the same.
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