When I was in high school, I had this teacher. But the thing is, he wasn’t MY teacher. He was A teacher to loads of other kids, including my sister and Husband. I can’t actually remember how I came to know him or like him. If I had to guess, I’d say it was through one of my friends who had him as a teacher. I remember talking to him all the time, walking with him, sitting with him. After high school, when I was in college, I went back a few times to visit him.
But it doesn’t matter how we met or why.
Brother Shawn, who I came to later affectionately call BroShaw, was my friend.
And a week ago, he died.
And now I’m writing about him on my blog. A blog he loved reading and was always commenting on. Funny how that happens, how life can change so.darn.fast.
BroShaw was a good, good person who, like all of us, made mistakes. But unlike a lot of people, he humbly repented for his mistakes and made up for them a thousand-fold through not words or thoughts but actions toward and relationships with others. I have never met someone who was so devoted to other people as BroShaw. He found the time to be there for anyone who needed him in whatever way he was needed. He helped people entirely selflessly, never seeking return compensation. He spoke and wrote with kindness, compassion, and wisdom. He listened intently. He had a hilarious sense of humor. And, he and I shared a love for The Golden Girls.
When someone has been in your life for so long, you don’t really stop to think about the times you’ve spent together, the conversations you’ve had, or what they mean to you. You just know in your heart of their utmost importance. And you really miss them when that time is over. You feel the enormity of the realization that the last time you spoke or hugged or shared a smile, was the last time. And you wonder if you had known, what you would have said or done. You wish you had done more, said more, been more. This is my experience, anyway.
But, that’s not how life works. Life is messy and complicated and emotional and confusing, all that … And I know that BroShaw would know that, he would say that.
BroShaw was my friend. He still is. He was my mentor. He still is. He was on my side. He still is. He supported me, my profession, my ideas, my … LIFE. I know he would still if he was here. He was someone I didn’t think would die. Not anytime soon, that is. Yet, he has. He’s gone. And I miss him.
I know as time goes on, I’ll continue to think of him, every day. Each day, I’ll see his face in my memory, his smile; I’ll hear his laugh or his voice. I’ll remember how he lived, how he cared for everyone, how he affected all of those he cared so deeply for. And, I’ll know, and keep knowing, that while it wasn’t long enough, I’m so lucky to have known him, to have been one of those people he loved who I loved back. I hope he knew that. I hope he knew before he died how important he was to countless people and how deeply missed he is, how important he was to me and how much I miss him.