About a month ago, I was looking for an old story I had written and came across an obituary of my dear friend Tony. He died in a motorcycle accident around 2001, a year after high school graduation.
I remember meeting Tony at a college preparatory camp for kids called PREP at Montclair St. University. During the summer of '97, he fancied me and somehow I started to like him. He was the guy who gave me my first kiss, the way a kiss was supposed to be.
He was also friends with my brother, and after PREP, he would come to my house to visit. Then school returned back in session and later we both would go our separate ways.
So, as I was re-reading his obituary, a sudden sadness came upon me. I'd never thought I'd see in my early stages to adulthood people pass away so young.
Even to this day, there have been people in my age group who haven't had the opportunity to see 2014.
My dear, friend Matia passed away while giving birth to her baby. I still remember the last phone message she sent asking me to call her because she had some wonderful news to share with me. My phone call never came, and when I learned of her passing, I was sad, and now I'll always wonder what wonderful news she had to share.
I carried that guilt with me from time to time, but when I ran into this woman, I kept saying to myself that she looks like someone I know. I would see her pass by so many times that I finally stopped and asked her if she has or had a daughter.
I told her that she reminds me of a girl I knew and her name was Matia. She said that she was her daughter and told me thanks for keeping her memory alive.
It was such a heartfelt moment, and I felt good on the inside knowing that I was keeping her memory alive.
In 2014, we've lost family and friends. Even though you will hear this time and time again, it is really important to keep the memories alive of those who has affected our lives.
Life is fragile, but we all form connections to people who inspire us to be better. I try not to forget to tell people I love them, because we are living from minute to minute. It is only through God that he continues to preserve our lives.
After reading this, take a moment to find someone and let them know how they impact your life, and more importantly, that you love them. Cherish all the days you have to spend with family and friends and when the time comes to answer that knocking door, people will remember to keep your memory alive. As long as this happens, you'll never be forgotten.