It still doesn’t quite feel right
Like the world put on a coat two sizes too tight
Like it’s all squeezed, uncomfortable
Close to right, but all wrong
I keep looking at my phone
I keep expecting to hear it ring
Hear your voice saying hey bro, what’s going on?
Do you have time to talk?
The places we were together are a little emptier now.
A little colder. A little quieter.
It’s still weird that you’re not here
We were together our whole lives
You used to never leave me alone
It was supposed to be me and you against the world.
Brothers to the end
We were supposed to go through the tough times together
And the good times too
We had a lot of those.
I guess I’ll have some more to come
And I guess you’ll be there too.
I couldn’t leave you behind if I tried to
So many of the best parts of me are really pieces of you.
Pain makes us not our best selves. When they hurt us with their hands or with their mouths, we want to strike back. Fight fire with fire, help them reap what they sew, restore balance to the world. It is understandable. It is part of our nature. But we can be better.
The hate that we give is a reflection of what they gave to us. It’s what they want. It is what allows them to see us as less than human. Whether they can’t see the humanity inside others or they can’t see it inside themselves, we are just confirming their suspicion.
So transform the hate into humanity, darkness into light. When they give you hate, give them love. Because when they look into the mirror, we want them to see the human being inside of us and remember that no matter how deep it is buried, there is a human inside of them.
Walking slowly, guided by stone walls that
Rise beside me, thousands of feet in the air.
Evidence of the power of patience,
In millions of years, water can wear down stone.
In the same way, we need to turn our will
To pursue our goals. Flowing around barriers
Until they are worn away with time.
We have time. Be patient and do not waver.
But before you fix your path, choose wisely
Which direction you pursue. How does it help?
What does it achieve? So that at the end
When we look back on the canyon we wore
In the stone of the world, we find it beautiful.
We can never put the stone back in place.
These days I feel I’m invincible
Ready to take on the world alone
I break rules, I escape gravity’s pull,
Ready to disprove everything known.
(They all say these are the best days of my life.)
A few years later I have hit my stride
I have a career, I am somebody.
I have accomplishments, family, pride,
I have everything I could want and more.
(I guess maybe these are the best days of my life.)
Now I move slow but with a twinkle in my eye
I’ve lived a long life full of joy and some strife
But when I look in my grandson’s eyes I know
That these are the best days of my life.
Life is short. I learned that from you.
Well, I guess I already knew
in my head
but you made it real. Visceral.
You were 100% here and then you were gone.
A light that shone too bright to last long.
I feel it in my bones now
When I think about you
And your words.
When you’d call me brother.
You’re not living anymore
But I want to live like you.
Not hiding anything
ready to help anyone.
I want to help people
I want to change their lives
I want to change
And I’ll start one step at a time.
Thank you for being here.
For what you taught me.
Work hard. Enjoy it all. Be here while you can.
Life is short.
I sit on the hard-packed earth, feeling the chill
of the frozen ground, my warmth seeping out
into the air. A slight pain when my lungs fill
Before smoke billows forward, a silent shout.
There’s a chill in my heart, an empty space.
You were there. You were sick. Now you are gone.
I won’t hear your voice. I won’t see your face.
It’s like sitting in the dark waiting for the dawn-
Knowing it won’t come. The blink of an eye,
That’s all we are. But we are so much more,
The love we give others, the reasons why.
You were my coach. My friend. My mentor.
I’ll keep the memories, the lessons, the fun.
You called me brother. I loved you like one.
It is easy to fall into despair
When you look at your life and can’t tell what
You’ve done that matters. Why anyone should care
If you disappear. When it sinks, your gut,
Realizing that the things you want most
Are always floating just out of your reach.
When it feels your work is nothing to boast
About, that you have nothing you can teach
And it feels like you don’t know anything.
But that just means that you must press onward
And build, grow. You’re young. Your heart might yet sing
With happiness, more beautiful than birdsong.
Life’s a journey you’ve just begun. It’s true.
Never give up on yourself, you’re only twenty two.
Give friendship, give trust freely and without cause-
Make fast friends, slow enemies.
If others hurt you, take advantage of you, persevere:
Succeed even when they stack all odds against you.
Forgive others who harm you, but remember to protect yourself in the future.
Keep your expectations low and be prepared to do it all yourself
Let kindness from others amaze you as the wonderful gift it is.
Help others, go above an beyond expectations
Not with any expectation of benefit, but because you want to.
Take joy in raising others up and raise yourself up even when others push you down.
Realize that this is your own personal truth, not the same as anyone else’s
Not better, not worse,
And that the only universal wrong is the intentional harm of others.
Live this life. You may not always be happy. You may not always succeed.
But I truly hope that you will always find peace.
I believe in passion and determination above talent.
I believe in effort above absolute success.
I believe in health above aesthetics, above weight.
I believe in meaning above happiness, above comfort.
I believe in experience above material goods.
I believe in collaboration above adversarial competition.
I believe in the value an action provides others above what advantage it lends me.
Above all these things, above wealth, above power,
I believe in love.