Friday, August 12, 2011

With Sadness and Smiles...In Memory of...

There's an unbearable sadness when tragedy strikes unexpectedly. All the fleeting memories start flashing before your eyes and you're temporarily blinded by the shocking pain of loss. I'm reminded that we are mere mortals, that things come and go, that life is precious, and that in a split second it can all go. I haven't been one to necessarily share my romances nor announce things on mass but I'm grieving the loss of my ex-boyfriend, who heroically passed away in an unfortunate accident while he was trying to save his girlfriend.

Keep smiling from above Justin.

Although we weren't right for each other, he will always remain one of the nicest men I've ever had the honor of knowing. He was truly wonderful, thoughtful and amazing. He was the kind of guy whose maturity came with a boyish charm. He had a beautiful smile and a ridiculously infectious giggle that was heart warmingly adorable. I had always wished that we were meant for each other. We broke up because I knew he deserved more than I could give him. In the end, we were just too incompatible in many ways but he was also incidentally the last man that I've really cared deeply about.

My sadness is lifted by remembering the good times we had together. I often say that people come into our life for a reason, a season and a lifetime. For me, he will constantly be a reminder that there are truly phenomenal people out there. That it's ok to keep searching for the one that is right for you. That like him, you should be brave and live openly. That you shouldn't settle for anything or anyone less than you deserve. That you should always keep the great ones in your life. That there are lessons to be learned everywhere and in everyone. And that sometimes even though it's not forever, they will still enrich your life in ways you can never have expected. The salty tears are sweetened by honoring the fact that most importantly he was perpetually optimistic. He believed in LOVE, in LIFE, in celebrating the small moments, in remembering the little things and in cherishing the most important things the world can offer. He was truly one of a kind and I'm blessed to have known and had him in my life, no matter how short it was.

I wish for so many things in this life. But as I sit here and mourn the loss of a great soul, a lover and a friend - I can't help but count my blessings. I recognize that I'm lucky enough to keep meeting people like him who are truly special. That I have the opportunity to keep living life the best way I know how. That it doesn't matter if I fall in love with a man or a woman - I won't give up on finding love. That whatever job or career I have, no matter how hard I work or how much of myself I put in, I won't let it define me. That weight doesn't really matter at the end of the day and I will try and not beat myself about it. That even though I seek and struggle with wisdom, life will always find a way to surprise you and teach you what you need to grow. That happiness is attainable and those moments can come with nervous excitement or with a peaceful contentment. That I'm surrounded by amazing friends and family who will always love and support me no matter what. That I am grateful to have another day...

It's moments like this when I wish I could be a million places all at the same time. My world travels have been and continue to be life changing and so amazing I couldn't even begin to describe its impact on me. But it's also difficult to miss out on so many momentous things - being there for a friend's wedding or funeral, supporting best friends falling in love or starting families, watching my nephews and niece grow up, holding loved ones during health scares and issues. Please know that my love, thoughts, prayers and well wishes are with everyone all the time.

I may not know what my future holds - who I'll meet, fall in love with, new friends I've yet to make, experiences to go through, adventures to seek... but I do know that I will always try and make the most of it and embrace everything with open arms and be the best that I can be. I keep pining for a sense of foreverness that doesn't actually exist. Life is about taking advantage of all the small moments seamlessly joined together through shared experiences. I do hope that somehow I've enriched you all as much as you have given me.

Live life to the fullest - it's the only one we have.

Thank you for all the smiles, good times and most of all for being YOU.
You will always be one of the most amazing men I have ever met.
You will be missed Justin.