I was at the TEDMED 2012 convention in DC when I saw some odd posts on my friend’s Facebook page. People were commenting, “RIP.” This is a terrible way to get news that a friend, much less once a best friend, has died.
KW and I were the least likely to be paired as best friends when we first met, but fresh out of high school and starting my first “serious” job, we bonded over food, our love of dancing, playing pool, and the beach. Our friendship was even made stronger due to our tight circle of coworkers whom we got together with regularly for beach picnics, hiking, and trivia nights at each other’s houses.
I have a million wonderful memories of my time with KW. The time he taught me to ride his motorcycle and would lay on the road in the sun while I practiced driving it up and down. He never got angry when I would break something on it when I dropped it. He would just patiently pick it up for me. All the times we would meet for nachos at Hard Rock – a favorite. The time we took trip around the East Coast together where he got to meet many of my extended family members and I got to meet some of his. We stayed at a terrible bed and breakfast in Boston and befriended the owner’s family and took their granddaughter for a day trip to the beach one day.
And then there was the time that KW told me that his grandma told him to move to another island to go to college and she would provide him with a free ride. He asked me if he should go, and I bravely told him he should take the opportunity because I loved him, and what best friend wouldn’t want the best for someone they loved? I went home and cried and cried for days and never told him that I really didn’t want him to move.
Over time, with KW on another island with a new life, we lost touch. Years later he found me on Facebook. He told me he had been looking for me forever and that he even posted on his MySpace page under “Who I’d Like to Meet,” that he wanted to meet me.
Our current relationship was different, yet at the same time unchanged. We caught up once in person and continued to keep in touch occasionally by text and Facebook.
A year ago he sent me this message. Always such beautiful and loving messages.
“Hey beautiful, Been thinking of you, love your adventures traveling. You have always been one to view all aspects of the world. Hope our paths will cross again soon. You are such a beautiful person, and I thank you for the time we spent together. All my love”
April 1st, 2012 he sent me another message.
“Thinking of you… Miss u;) hope all is well in Ali land. Coming to Hawaii anytime soon?”
I responded and let him know I was going to be in Hawaii on May 15th.
On April 12th I got word through KW’s friends’ Facebook posts to his page that he was dead, which I found a news article that someone posted that confirmed it.
This is a reminder to cherish those whom you love. And to communicate with love. Because you do not know when life and friends will be taken from you.
Live your life – truly live it – because life can be cut short at any time. xo