It’s odd when you arrive at the anniversaries of events that were so pivotal in your life, and you realize that they happened over a decade ago. I say this because my breakfast today somehow feels farther away than how I felt on this morning back in 2004.
For those who don’t know, which I imagine is quite a few of you, my best friend was shot and killed outside of his apartment 12 years ago today. We worked together, we hung out together nearly every weekend, I saw him every day. And then, suddenly, he was gone.
And it left a hole in my life, in the rough silhouette of someone that I loved very much.
This commie-lookin’ sucka right here.
I don’t talk about him very often. And I don’t because, long ago, I came to the sad realization that there’s nothing anyone can say or do that will ever make me feel better. Nothing that will cause it to make sense . Nothing that would fill the void where he used to be.
Nothing can ever make it okay that he’s gone.
But I think about him almost every day.
Wrecked on the slopes of Park City. (In more ways than one.)
But once you’re a decade removed from the death of someone close to you, mourning them takes on a totally different kind of weight. Droplets of “I wonder what this would be like if they were still here…” trickle around in your mind. But those are dangerous waters to swim in. Because once you start it’s very hard to stop imagining what such beautiful shores would look like.
They’d look this kind of beautiful.
But today? Today I allow myself to become awash in those thoughts. Today I sit here and wish that you would’ve gotten the chance to meet my wife. I wish that you could’ve met my daughter.
I know she would’ve loved you every bit as much as her daddy does.
I just wish you were here, mate.
I really miss you.
I just came across this, so I thought I’d repost it. Some people at my office printed this out and put it on the company refrigerator shortly after Russell died.
Change of Address Notice
I want to let you know that I have moved. I received a call for God, the Chief Architect who informed me that my new home is ready and that I could move in immediately. You all know that I have been sending my timber and packing up ready to go. There were some minor finishing touches that only the Chief Carpenter Jesus Christ could do. Some of the timber was too broad, thick or not long enough. Now that my new home is finished, it is a beautiful sight to behold. It is located in an exclusive estate area, just off a serene celestial shore and sits behind a beautiful pearly white gate. Of course, the streets are paved with gold and everyday is Sunday here, I’ve been told. I have lived in many places before, but none can compare to my new home. There is peace, joy and happiness and no pain to bear. There is no strife or discontent: there is only sweet serenity everywhere. I can go on and on about my new home, but I must get fitted for my wings. we all know I’m very picky.
Let me give you my new address:
Russell E. Reagan
24 Jesus Way
Godstaown, Heaven 31680
And while the sentiment was very nice and I did appreciate the thought, they got my boy entirely wrong. So I rewrote it. And I taped the following right on top of the other page.
Change of Change of Address Notice
Having gotten quickly bored of my palatial estate here in Heaven, and the serenity and peace located therein, I have moved again. The pearly white gates and exclusivity of the place were way too haughty for me, so I’ve commandeered (“commandeer,” nautical term), a celestial schooner and am sailing the celestial seas in search of celestial booty. (Heh, heh…)
God has let me know, in a stern yet fatherly fashion, that He disapproves of my sailing His shores, my plundering of His seas, and my carousing at all hours of the night. It would appear that He has already gotten several complaint calls about my renditions of “It’s Not Unusual” and “Drink Up Me Hearties, Yo Ho!” in the middle of the night.
He also seemed terribly surprised that I had attempted to trim my wings myself, in such a fashion as to make them appear more, you know…imposing. I kinda messed ’em up though, so I had to shave off all the feathers and I am now waiting for them to grow back. (These bone wings look friggin’ awesome though, man.) Still, He smiled at me when I started to protest about His “commanding” me to do anything. He just covered His eyes with one hand and shooed me out the door.
I heard him giggling as I left though, and He didn’t make me take off the bandana, so it’s all good.
However, despite my being out sailing the vast oceans of the hereafter, I am still very easy to get a hold of. You have just to think of me or to tell stories about the things I did and said. And when you do, I’ll be there with you.
Go on about your lives and loves. And whenever important moments come for you, weddings, childbirths, deaths, parties, ho-downs, bar mitzvahs, etc, I’ll be right there next to you.
Besides, that’s much easier than answering any mail you might’ve sent to my address. I always sucked at that anyway.
So until then, fair winds, take care of one another, don’t trust whitey, and if you got it, go to the doctor and get rid of it.
This is the exit.
This is the Russell.