Monday, March 21, 2011

stay up and make some memories.

i know you were there with us this weekend, friend (as always).
i can't tell you how honored i was to get to meet your family and to spend time with them saturday. they were all so loving and kind. hearing stories about you and your cousins growing up, looking through your old pictures, enjoying the food your aunt made, sharing stories and thoughts with jeff as we peeled the 800 shrimp together and your sister as we stood in the kitchen together and helped prepare the food.. all the while laughing with the guys and being back at brandon's. your family seemed just as cautious about washing their hands as you always were.. and me, too, of course.. it made me laugh. something about being back at the house felt comforting. i thought it would be hard, with you not being there. but, instead, we all felt you there and knew you were there with us, and we were comforted instead.
the show was pretty crazy (or rowdy, as you would say), but i know you saw it all (i know you definitely heard it).. the guys running and jumping around, while your sister, your friend and i stood at the back and watched from a safe distance. you would have loved it. you were so passionate about music and live music, and i'll never forget the shows we went to. even though i remember feeling nervous at times, i remember you stayed by my side at those shows, making sure i had a good time and felt comfortable and safe.. and i always did. that music always moved me (emotionally and literally), and although it kind of scared me at first (ha), i got more and more into it over time, thanks to you (as you once told me, "I knew you would like this kind of music and not just John Gayer").. and that's something i would've never discovered had it not been for you.. those shows are something i would've never experienced had it not been for you.
it was an emotional evening/night, that's for sure (which ended with your sister, cousin, friend, jeff, brandon and me standing around the kitchen, laughing at the random things brandon decided to share with us.. your cousin thought he was especially funny.. "he has no filter.. it's like hearing his entire thought process"). the hugs and the "how are you holding ups?" and the "i love yous" and the love in general.. all kept coming last night. i think we've all realized how important it is to just say it, to make sure your loved ones know it.. and how important it is to watch out for each other, just as you always watched out for us.. just as i know you always will.

Friday, March 18, 2011

like the season changing, i felt it too.

i like to think, friend, you can read what i'm writing. i like to think you know the thoughts i have on my mind of you, the memories i go back over. i like to think, when i laugh or smile because of something funny i remember you saying, you recognize that laughter and smile and know you're the cause of it. i like to think, when i look up to the sky at times and say hello to you (though it may be silly), you greet me in return. i like to think you know how much you are cared for, admired.. how much you inspire.. how much fun you brought about.. how much you are missed..
i keep thinking that you're just on vacation or that i just haven't run into you at the gym for a while. i realize at times i'm looking for you, expecting to run into you.
being at the gym hasn't gotten much easier. there is a very strong, strange feeling that hangs in the air there for me. it's almost as if i can feel your presence there, if that makes any kind of sense. my eyes played a trick on me tuesday evening as i left the gym. i looked in one direction and i could have sworn i saw you. needless to say, that was a strange feeling as well.
it hits me funny at times, especially late at night, just like tonight. just like now. catching me off guard and coming over me all over again. there's no hint of acceptance or sinking in. it's still as if i don't believe it. at all.
missing you, friend.

Monday, March 14, 2011

watch the sunrise and fill our souls up.

Jeff left me a message tonight. “It’s tough. It f’s me up. Keep your head up and smile. That’s all he'd want.” He said something similar to me the day I picked up Suka. I couldn’t agree more with him. I know none of us will ever get used to it, or believe it, or understand it. And I know certain times will be harder than others. But I also know you would want all of us to keep smiling, laughing and enjoying life - just as you always did, every second of every day. I know you’re with all of us through it all, even the tears. But I think - I know - you’re even more with us through the smiles and the laughter.
“When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that, in truth, you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

it’s change that suddenly reaches down and lifts you up.

yesterday was not a great day in the world of subbing. it was frustrating, to say the least. but, once that was over, my day only got better from there.
last night, i was thinking back on the day. a not-so-great experience like that would have probably thrown me all out of whack this time last year. and i probably would have let that one experience in the day define (and ruin) my entire day. this year, though, things are different (and, now, things are even more different), and i know there is no use in letting something like that ruin my whole day. i was able to get out my complaints from the day, and then let it go and enjoy the rest of my monday.
i'm thinking this new way of thinking has to do with a change i feel within me. a feeling that i'm happy, i'm blessed, and i can have a good day (and still be happy) even if i have a bad experience. i'm thinking, too, it's all thanks to my knowing (now more than ever) that there are far more important things, and it's also thanks to the faith i have.
"do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phillippians 4:6-7
the last nine days or so have been challenging, and i still cannot believe that what happened actually happened. the amount of support that has poured in, though, has been pretty amazing, and once again, i'm reminded of the wonderful family and friends i am blessed with. actually, i'm reminded of that every day, and it's always, always with me.
dear friend, i know you wouldn't want us to be miserable (although it still hurts). i know you would want us all to laugh and to really live and to enjoy every little thing (although we still cry). i know you wouldn't let a bad experience take anything away from you. i know you wouldn't want us to take what happened and let it consume us or bring us down completely (although you're still, and always, very much on our minds). instead, i know you would want us to take the experience and learn from it, and to remember that you're up there, laughing right along with us (and silly suka bear).

Thursday, March 3, 2011

in your heart you'll have all of our good times.

So, I have to say, it's a strange feeling going to and being at the gym. There is definitely a feeling of you there. Just something in the air. It's hard to explain.
On another note.. I think I'll keep Suka bear. Ha. "Phil" has decided to call her ninja, by the way.
She seems to really enjoy broken up Ritz Crackers and Honey Nut Cheerios.. and she and my dog are getting along better and better every day.
There was this old man in step class today, working out in jean shorts. I know you must have gotten a good laugh out of that. I sure did ("sssuper silly").
I still can't believe it, and I know I'll never understand it. But knowing and remembering how fully you lived your life, every single day, helps a great deal.
Well, it's bedtime for Suka bear and me. The pup is completely worn out.
"Okay, see ya" ;)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

god bless you for the song you sang us.

Suka bear is officially worn out. She's snuggled up at my feet, passed out ("she asleep!"), after a big day playing with my dog, my family and me. She and my dog are becoming friends, I think. They're so different, but it works :) We've all had a lot of laughs thanks to her, especially when she "gets gangsta." I like to think you're smiling and laughing right along with us. And I have to say, I'll definitely miss her when she heads back to uncle Brandon's Sunday.
Today started off kind of rough. I don't know why. I just woke up feeling out of it. But, with Suka here, hopping around the bed, I got up and got going, and we spent the afternoon doing homework together. She was a little confused, though - I don't think she has been around books before. Hehe. Just kidding, turkey.
I was listening to Deftones this afternoon, too, while Suka bear and I worked away. I remember hearing that one song, "Knife Party," so many times in your car and in the basement when you guys would play. I listened to that particular song many times this afternoon ["God bless you for the song you sang us"].
It still doesn't seem real. I'm not sure if it ever will. Night, J Dawg.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

and the sweet pang it cost me not to call.

Having Suka bear here this week is a blessing, and I’m so glad to be babysitting her. You loved that pup so much. In fact, I remember you telling me one time that you never needed to get married, as long as you had Suka. We’ll be sure and take good care of her, and don't worry, I’ll be sure and play the monster game with her.
My family think it's so funny she has so many names. Her sneaky ninja skills are confusing the hell out of my dog. She's already stolen his ball, too. She looks so tiny next to him, it's hilarious. We shared some fries at dinner, and now she's cuddled up at my feet, watching tv with me. Reminds me of so many times we would spend with her on the couch (or watching her run around the coffee table, and up and down the hall, like a maniac).
I saw Brandon, Jeff and Joe this afternoon. It was so good seeing them, and laughing at/with Brandon and Jeff again. They were checking out the van they rented, messing with every possible thing they could - the seats, the drawers, the compartments. I can only imagine what a road trip that will be.
It was difficult, to say the least, to see your new place, the music room, your guitars and your drum set, and your room, but I'm glad I got to do that today, to see it all.
Brandon and I stood in the music room for a little while, and he asked me, "Remember how loud he used to play that music? How loud it used to get in the house?" I can't tell you how much I wish we were all down in the basement, listening to you guys play again. Brandon played your guitar some, and we all just sat around, fairly quiet, as they got your pictures off the computer to take to your family.. and your music for the drive.
Your memorial at the gym was tonight, too. So many people showed up, and it was a very nice service. The speaker reminded us that this is only a temporary separation.. I like thinking of it that way, although it is still incredibly hard. You continue to keep bringing people together. So many of your friends are reaching out on Facebook, and now we're friends as well. As Bobby put it in a message I got from him last night, "we're all in this together."
Missing you a lot today/tonight. Having Suka bear here is comforting, I have to say, but I keep thinking you're going to show up at the end of the week to pick her up, or that I'll drop her off and you'll be there. I know, though, in some way, you're always here.. and always will be.

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