Thursday, December 31, 2009

new years eve

2009 was a bad year. I know we say that every year - we talk about how much we are looking forward to the fresh start and the clean slate that a new year suggests - because looking back on a year, its easy to feel like it was hard - but truly - 2009, for me, was a really bad year.

lots of things happened that were sad for me - more divorce, more strained friendships, opportunities missed, hard conversations in my own marriage, new regrets and new loss. but the reason 2009 will forever be remembered as a sad year for me is the death of my friend aaron. and this night in particular - it is a dark night.

new years eve one year ago - I was at aaron's house. I remember before then I was at another party and I was tired and I was thinking about going home but aaron called me and said "where are you??" and he also said he would beat me up if I didn't come over so off I went to what ended up being the most fun NYE party I ever went to. I remember walking into aaron and ashleigh's house - full of so many of my friends, and I put up my hands and screamed. aaron handed me a drink and the next few hours were filled with joy and laughter. honestly, the most fun party I ever attended. it was a good, warm night, full of life. and it was aaron at his best - his home full of good people - and aaron playing his role of perfect host.

it was the last time I ever saw aaron smile.

aaron died 9 weeks into the new year - none of us saw it coming - things were hard and sad - I have regrets about the ways I missed aaron in those last days - but in the midst of the sadness there were good moments. we took a road trip to atlanta and stayed at my sister's house. we went to on tap and I told aaron he was losing weight. I was at his house several times, talking with him and ashleigh. when frank called me on march 5, telling me he was going to the hospital - that aaron had just died - I didn't believe it. when i got to the hospital I felt alone and angry. and a few days later, when we buried aaron, only a few yards away from where we buried joe, I felt about as empty as I ever felt.

I have been thinking about aaron a good bit more, lately. I was at the airport and I saw a man walking - he had aaron's walk and aaron's dark hair. I told brooke the man looked just like aaron and she just smiled at me. I got an email from one of aaron's brothers recently - he checks in on me every few months and I'm thankful for that. and I have these dreams - these dreams that I know I'll have for a long time because I've had them with joe for about ten years now - the dream is I'm at a party, and in walks aaron. we all turn and say "we thought you were gone??" and he smiles and says "nah, I'm right here." no idea what the dream means, but its always so real, and so sad to wake up from.

glad 2009 is wrapping up, but anxious of what's ahead for 2010. I don't have much hope for any good to come. not anytime soon.

4 comments:

Clay said...

I am sorry about your friend, Aaron. I remember reading your blog just after his death and I could tell it was a huge blow to you; that you guys were best friends.

I hope 2010 surprises you, in a good way.

And I'm not staying up to ring in the new year. That's highly overrated.

Jonathan Drescher said...

That was a good party, Brian. Fun times and good friendship was taken much too soon. Thanks for your words.

Jeff Irwin said...

[deeeep breath]

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