Rios asked me today if anything bad has ever happened to me ever. I thought of a few things right off the bat. First I thought of being “stalked,” then I thought about Kevin and Maria’s death. But while running I got to thinking about the trials that I’ve suffered, and which of those events really changed my life. I didn’t realize that those particular trials, different as they were, did have a lasting effect on me.
When I say stalking, I don’t really mean stalking, it’s just the closest word I can come up with to describe how I felt about an unhealthy friendship I had in high school. I’ve looked back over the years and now have so much more insight about what happened to me – I allowed someone to verbally and emotionally abuse me. I was naive, and now I realize that the whole situation was an induction into the adult world. It made me stronger and I’m grateful for that. As an adult, I want to remain compassionate, but with a sense of preservation and the ability to protect my innocence and self-esteem. I don’t let people walk all over me because I know what’s stolen from you when you do. I can only say all that in hindsight.
The other trial, Kevin and Maria’s death, is something different. I think of them out of nowhere sometimes, just remembering. In a few days it will be seven years since their deaths. I sometimes remember in vivid flashes about the Hollywood video scene, about May having to tell me what happened, about talking to Maria’s mother or how my heart would hurt every time I saw a picture of them or heard their names. Now those things have faded a bit, but what remains is the very real desire to live my life. I try to remember that there are things I need to do while on earth and I won’t have all the time in eternity to do them.
While I was running I was thinking about living my life backwards – trying to always keep in mind how I wanted to leave the world behind. I want to be a pencil in the hand of God, so someone could say that God fulfilled a prayer through me. I’m filing out my application for sainthood now, so hopefully I’ll have a fat resume when its time for me to go too.