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i was just reading pip's latest blog... and it brought it all back to me again. how simple it would be, or would have been, for me to have one less regret in my life. there aren't many. i've been trying to live by the words of my friend ben porter for the last year, pretty faithfully...
'everybody tells me to have no regrets...' (from the song of his titled, no regrets...)

for me, it isn't that everybody tells me to have none, it is simply a desire that i want to live without them. they waste time, they don't help your current state of health, they pretty much aren't a good thing no matter what.

10 years ago was the last time i saw my best friend alive. 10 years ago, right about now in fact. the end of my junior year of high school, meandering down the hall towards mr powell's office, (which was for anyone who sang, the place to hang out, still is i've heard), and my friend emily running at me, blonde hair flying, 'guess who's here?????????' she must have been bouncing off the walls, which, emily, never did. (think daria on mtv). having no idea, i followed her down the hall to the choir room... gary. he was home. i was so happy to see him. my best friend, one of three, home from oklahoma. curse that place. ... he was home for a few days, we went out, we spent a couple of evenings together, and he went back to oklahoma.... and i never saw him again. and i wish it was just because we lost touch. i wish it was such an easy thing to remedy. ... fast forward about 3 months, to august 24th before my senior year of high school. being the busybody that i am (still) i had a meeting(!yes a meeting) for student government as i was the coordinator for talent fest, my schools annual show off spectacle. i loved it, lots of fun. but that evening, before i left the house, i thought, i should call gary....
i went to my meeting, got caught up in all the fun and silliness of being with everyone again, and forgot.

the next evening, gary was dead.

he shot himself. and i now know i probably wouldn't have stopped it all. i probably would have delayed it if anything... but i don't know, and what if.... what if i had called? what if i had remembered? what if i had thought about it on the 25th and called him that evening, with the time difference, i would have caught him. he wouldn't have died that day. he would maybe, just maybe still be here.

i don't blame myself entirely. no one in NY saw the signs. (a few in oklahoma did, but we were in high school, how much did we know? and would we have told his parents if we'd known? probably not... we probably would have done the same thing, believed him when he said he was ok... we wouldn't have saved him either....) foolishness of youth. but i do blame myself in many ways.... because the what if's are always there... and how can i not?
and if he were here, my life wouldn't be what it is. a living reminder daily to live the fullest i can, help all those i can, believe those when they say they are hurting, ....and do something about it.

if he were here, i can hope and wish we'd have been together still. ... i think i'd be teaching. maybe. i think he ...he might be too. i don't know. what i do know is everyday, literally, i think of him at least once. i see him in some of my kids, i hear his name, it's the 25th of the month, it's his birthday, i hear from his mom, i think i see him... or it's just that moment before i fall asleep when i'm talking to God, and saying a prayer, that he'll be there when i get Home. ....and i miss him. and i regret not picking up the phone that day. ..i only regret two other things that i can never change. one of them, i've written about it already, oct. 21 2002 you can read it. the other, i've tried my best to make amends. i know how much i messed up, i can't change it, and i'm hoping to be forgiven someday. but gary, losing him, not calling that day, ....that i regret.... with all i am.

what i don't regret is who i am since then. the life i've chosen. the path i walk. the lives i try to give to and help. i don't regret it for a second.

but i would change it all to have him back.

so pip, i want to thank your sister... for doing something that did save you. that gave all of us you. i'm thankful to have you in my life. to know you. thankful that you are here. because if she hadn't... the world would be missing out. i'm lucky to know you. and to know how awesome you are. with much love and support through it all, i'm here. no regrets... no more.


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