Today is a day that, every year, I make a point of being with my friends. Today, eight years ago, one of my best friends passed away…on his birthday of all days. He wasn’t sick. He fell off a balcony. An ugly thing about this was that I saw it coming (as much as you can in these things). I remember telling him shortly after he moved into that apartment that he was going to fall off that balcony and die and I’d be really pissed at him. But of course you think that by saying these things you’ll officially stop them from happening, right? But that’s just not the case I guess.

Chris was such an amazing guy, and amazing boyfriend for a while, but even more amazing as my friend. And did I mention gorgeous? Classic ugly duckling syndrome. He never had a clue how beautiful he was inside and out. We dated for a short time, around 6? months, after I gave up pursuing him. Of course most of the time I just thought it was hysterical to go as far out of my way to make the shyest person I had met in a really long time talk to me and I loved flirting with him and seeing how red I could make him. When I came back to Canada after traveling post high school, I went out with my old cadet buddies (aka the friends that I keep no matter what it seems) and he’s a friend of theirs and we all go out dancing. Well, Mr. Shy took to calling me his “bitch” for the entire night and snuggling up to me (which for the record I found hilarious because I knew exactly how he ment it and it wasn’t in a rude fashion at all). Once I informed him that “only my boyfriend would be allowed to call me that” and he looked me straight in the eye with a shit-eating grin and said it again, I knew for certain that I’d finally broken this shy guy and stolen is affections.

But as great a time as we had together, we finally realized that we weren’t “forever” material for each other. One day I called him up and asked him to come over so we could “talk”. He showed up at my house shortly after with a box of all my stuff (well the stuff that he didn’t decide to keep it turned out) that I’d kept at his place. I took one look at it and burst out laughing at us being on the same page so clearly, gave him one last giant kiss, and invited him in to hang out for a while. Not the normal break up, hey? Well, we weren’t normal. For a little while all my buddies stopped calling me, feeling uncomfortable about the break-up and trying to show their support for Chris, not understanding that we were ok. But Chris kept calling me, kept bringing me out to hang with the guys and him so we could all bridge that gap together. He never left me out and after a while it was comfortable enough for us to hang out just the two of us again. And he always treated me great. How could I not love him? How could anyone not love such a fantastic person. And I’m really glad he knew how I felt about him. We spent the day together about three days before he died. I did his hair (he loved it when I’d streak it for him with blonds and red, very similar to what I added to mine actually) and of course I’d have to re-inform him about how some day I’d have a life-sized poster of him on my wall just cause he was so damn pretty. But for some reason as he was taking me home that night I had the burning need to tell him how much I loved him and how he was, along with being  one of my favorite people to walk this earth, one of the best friends I could have ever asked for. We made plans to get together for his birthday a few days later with all the friends and we went merrily our separate ways.

But on the morning of his birthday the phone rang at an ungodly early hour. Hubby (who at that point was Fiance) picked up the phone. He NEVER picks up the phone. Why did he this time? I can’t remember if he cried or if he was just stunned, but he got off and told me that Chris had died and I’d never been gutted so hard in my life. I don’t even remember the next few days except being with his family, and our friends, and putting together a memorial poster for the funeral. At the viewing, I completely broke. You ever held on to a corpse for dear life? Not pretty. Thats about all I remember other than after the funeral the next day, going to his parents and being with his family for a while (they are amazing, like him, and I became very close with them too), and then having a wake to make him proud. We had a toga party. Chris had always wanted a toga party.

I don’t remember what day it was in here, but I had another buddy take me to his apartment so I could collect a few things. I took the sweater that I gave him, I found a picute of our friends I’d made him, some pictures of us, and a few things he’d kept from when we were dating (like a McDonald’s happy meal Gandolph toy that I’d given him as a joke and he held on to even when he’d moved).

I cried so much in those days. And at my wedding it was just awful because I had wanted to ask him to stand up with me in the wedding party (his best friend was also my bridesman) but I’d never gotten around to asking him. And every year as this date approaches I get sad, but as time goes by I am able to look more at the great times we had, and even though I miss him incredibly, I know I don’t have the regrets I could have had, had I not taken that time to remind him how wonderful he was to me.

I love you Chris and I’m so proud to have you as the namesake of my son. If he can grow up to be half the man you were then he will be great. I’ll miss you always.

Now go and tell the people you love how important they are to you, because you want them to know.

p.s. I’ll just share a lesson that Chris learned so that you all don’t have the make the same mistakes. Berreo’s aren’t too bad, but scrambled eggs and chocolate chips are awful together.  😉

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