This past weekend a childhood friend of mine was laid to rest. My first thought was, “Wow.” My mind went back to the first night he stayed over my house in elementary school and how we lost touch after sixth grade and were reunited via Facebook.
Then I started looking at pictures from elementary and it happened, I started crying. Not so much tears for my friend no longer being here but tears for not keeping in touch like I should.
He was attending school in Atlanta and I remember telling him I would get in touch with him when I would come through. But I would arrive back in Tallahassee kicking myself for not getting in touch with my friend, I thought that I would just call him on the next trip – only this time there won’t be a next trip because he’s gone.
The saying of giving people their flowers while they are living is so true. If I would have taken a little time to see my friend I probably wouldn’t have a guilty conscience.
Then my mind began racing, thoughts of my parents passing away entered my mind and began painting a visual picture. What if I was mad at my parents, only to wake up the next morning to find out something had happened to them. Even worse, I wasn’t able to let them know how much I cared about them and that I was sorry for being mad, so I cried so more.
I cried not just for my friend but also for myself because I have wasted so much time holding grudges over small stuff. It scares me to think that my parent’s won’t be here one day. Knowing they can’t live forever, I’ve learned to start taking advantage of time with them while they’re here, not just my parents but everyone. Live for the day. I’m not saying run wild and be reckless, but save saying that you care for people, for tomorrow. We need to start appreciating each other more and stop thinking that there’s always tomorrow because, one day, for all of us, tomorrow won’t come. Life is too short to be carrying grudges, let it go! Why waste time negatively.
So to my friend I say goodbye and I pray for every one who’s lost a loved one or someone they were close to. Be thankful for family, friends, FAMU, and most importantly life, no one lives forever, let people know you care.
To my family and friends I want to let you know I love you, and to all my fellow Rattlers I love you too!
We’re all climbing the same mountains and jumping the same hurdles, we need to be in this together. Don’t let another day pass without letting your loved ones know you love them.
March 15, was his birthday and it’s hard but I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason and I understand that my friend has gone on to a better place.
Royle King is a sophomore newspaper journalism student from Houston. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.