Some years I count down the days with dread in my gut as the 27th approaches, some years I’m ok about it as the day approaches and I adjust as I go, some years it sneaks up on me out of no where and blindsides me with the pain of missing him so much it tears my heart out.
This was one of the latter years.
8 years ago I came home to an AIM away message that broke my heart. As my heart raced and I called my friend, begging him to tell me it was a bizarre joke. Unfortunately he couldn’t do that.
Time has passed, the gaping hole in my heart has healed as much as it will and I know it will never fully. It will always have a tender spot of scar tissue because a piece is missing that belongs to him.
What did he teach us? There was so very much. He has left lasting fingerprints on our lives and we are all better people for knowing him. (Even the guy he punched in the face earning the nickname “Cheap Shot”.) I’m sure of this.
Here’s a few examples of what he taught me specifically:
- Lance reminded me that I was worth being treated well. Our relationship was complicated at best but the night I was sobbing on his shoulder for something DJZ had done or said and he kissed my forehead and said, “You’re better than this.” It took a bit, but I came to realize that it was true. I’ll never forget how wonderful he made me feel and be grateful for all the tears he wiped from my eyes.
- Lance knew he had a shortened life expectancy and lived each day as best as he could. While I was often up for new things, it was him that I learned the “Yes” mentality from. If you have the opportunity, do something when it comes up, you don’t know when or if it will come up again.
- Lance was “Lance”, I don’t know how to explain it better than that and those that knew him are nodding in agreement right now. He was so very uniquely him and rarely apologized for who he was or what he did. (There were a few instances worthy of apologies and he made them, don’t get me wrong.) When the real me was hiding, he pulled it out of me and reminded me that the real me is awesome and that’s who I needed to show the world, critics be damned.
I could go on for hours about the things he gave us, taught us and what we all adored about one another, but it’s Thursday Three, no Thursday Trillion so I’ll stop now.
Lance, I still miss you like whoa and will always remember what you taught us. I promise that today I will not cry, because you really hated it when I did. Instead of being sad, I will remember your lessons.
If you knew him, I invite you to share a lesson he taught you. I’m quite sure he can see this and would love to know that people still think fondly of him.