It’s been a damn day. And I can’t say it with a damn smile. What began as a great day turned very suddenly, not into one. My friend died. He was strong and awesome and the best damn police officer I have ever had the honor of knowing in my small life. When I was seven, I asked him what handcuffs were for. He showed me. I have the proud moment of being cuffed by Chief Tolbert at the ripe age of 7 when he taught me the value of humility.I’m glad to say, I’ve never had to repeat that instance.
He also helped me to learn a valuable lesson as a teenager. I was a badass, I was faultless. I was also stupid and collected a whopping speeding ticket 20 days after I got my license. I was dumb enough to lie to my dad about it. Owen, had my back, even though I didn’t know it. He taught me another lesson, about honesty.
Two years later, on the verge of the rest of my life came one more lesson. Blowing Rock loyalty. There’s such an amazing world here in my sleepy little town. I had the chance to go to school through the community foundation, an amazing group of people who exist to make our small place a little better. Owen agreed, though I was far from perfect, to be a reference for me. He never counted more or less than what I promised to try and be. Thus was his faith I me as a person. This isn’t something I will soon, or ever, forget.
He died today. I mourn my friend. But, the story doesn’t end there. I donate blood every 8 weeks. It’s the least I can do since my blood type is one of the highest in demand. Thanks for my chance to give back parents, seriously, thanks. I am deeply honored and humbled every chance I have to give blood and give life every time they poke the fire outta me.
I learned another lesson today. The world is a much more terrifying place than I thought. Bad, bad things happened today in America. I’m sad. Really sad. Babies, kiddos with their whole lives ahead were taken down. End of story before it began. Another kind of injustice broke my heart. I hate that I lost a friend, I hate more that these kids never had a chance to know someone like him.
I haven’t ever before thought about what happens to my blood once it comes into public domain. i hope it helps someone see tomorrow, especially when so many, unfortunately, won’t. This is no pity party, just a hope. No matter what or who you do or don’t believe in, live for others and what you can give them. Be it blood, loyalty, humility, or lessons learned, please, wing out what you can to help fix it, make tomorrow better than what we’re given today.
Goodness knows, someways, some days, every day, in some small bubble of life and love, we all need more than we can be on our own.