Gone Too Soon

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”

So the saying goes, and so the sentiment is reinforced every time news is received of the untimely passing of a loved one, friend, or even a celebrity or complete stranger. You just never know what goes on beneath the façade. Especially in this day and age of social media and what some might consider too much “sharing,” it is striking to note that the public profile rarely matches the internal struggle for many.

As I write these words, many of my fellow classmates from the Lindy High Class of 2000 have gathered, yet again, to say goodbye to one of our own, gone too soon. Over the last week, the outpouring of love and fond memories has been overwhelming, in the form of old photographs dug out from the archives, funny anecdotes shared and heartfelt remembrances penned of a person who, quite simply, had the ability to light up any gathering with his positive energy and smile.

In this time of sadness and reflection, it has been said that the best thing anyone can do – the only thing, really – is to take that sentiment and use it to be more considerate of others, their feelings, their unknown struggles… to appreciate those around you and to savor the moments you are fortunate to share together, as you simply never know when those moments will become nothing more than a distant memory.

In the years that have passed since high school graduation, we have all gone our separate ways, some to explore the world, others to settle down with families and some to simply find themselves in the endless quest for happiness and fulfillment. Whatever the journey, those childhood and adolescent friendships that blossomed during our formative years have endured in one form or another – even if only to serve as the basis for those fond memories that shaped so many milestones along the way.

And here we are, fifteen years later… a class whose roots remain firmly planted – on the playgrounds of our elementary schools, in the hallways of our high school, on the streets that we all called home at one time. Such a bond will never be broken. And at times likes these, it only grows stronger.

 

{Published: July 29th, 2015}

Jamie Lynn RyanComment