High school is a strange period. I've watched Never Been Kissed enough times and I agree with Josie to an extent that it DOES shape us. However, it's been seven years since I graduated, and it all seems like another lifetime. The things that were so major back then do not mean a thing today. I can remember my teacher's names, but all those math tests that I failed that seemed like such a disaster at the time really didn't leave any perminant damange. They really WERE just tests, as everybody would say. Most of all, I remember the people...
I've learned that the people you went to high school with fall into several different categories...there are a precious few that I still (and always will) hold among my closest friends. These are friends that knew me when my dad died, and we we watched each othef grow up..there are the ones that reentered your life once MySpace came into effect, those you will smile and go, "What's up?" when you see them at the store (but not stop to talk), those you will smile and go, "What's up?" when you you see them at the store (and then do stop to talk, and exchange phone numers, but never call) and then those you barely thought of when you were actually IN school together, let alone seven years later.
Last night, one of my old schoolmates who falls in Category A IMed me to tell me that a boy from Category E died of a drug overdose on Sunday.
Even though this guy wasn't my friend, or even an aquaintance, the second I heard her say his name, I automatically remembered his face and kept seeing that face in my mind for the rest of the day. I thought about him on and off today, just thinking about how tragic and pointless it is.
He is DEAD. He's GONE. He's never coming back. He was on this earth one second, and gone the next. His parents and siblings will never see him again. Four years ago, I heard of another classmate's death from drugs, and remember those same emotions...what a sad, sad waste.
Right now, I have a cousin who has been battling cancer for three years. He was actually told that he had about six months to live, and, since then, has fought with the most admirable determination I have ever witnessed. My cousin was a healthy young man, and, just like that, he has a terminal illness.
Comparing him to those two boys makes it even sadder and more confusing. My cousin didn't have any choice in what happened to him. These boys did. I know it's an illness, an addiction, but there's just no excuse for it. They didn't have to die. My father died of lung cancer. He was a heavy smoker for many years. I feel the same way about my dad..."It didn't have to happen! He didn't have to die! If only he didn't smoke!"
I will be thinking about this boy's family and keeping them in my prayers. I wish him peace now that's he's free, and I am sure that so many of my old schoolmates are right now having the same thoughts...whether he fell into their Category A or Category E.