(That's me in the corner, feeling like a speck of dust
compared to the massive organisms around me.)
It has been a crushing weekend; it's easy to feel regret for not trying harder to meet up with TJ in recent years, and it's easy to be overwhelmed by the cold and empty space that's left by the knowledge of his death. It's also difficult not to feel devastated when I think of what his wife, family and closest friends are going through.
This past week I've reconnected with so many old friends and relive tons of wonderful memories. I've spoken with lots of people that I haven't seen in nearly 15 years; but with all of these strong emotions and vivid memories of TJ swirling around, it feels like it was just last week that we were meeting en masse at my old friend Justin's house, going to a concert together in the city, or walking together in downtown Frederick. Even if our paths have diverged enormously, we all still have these memories of TJ in common, and talking about him and gushing about him and remembering him together is a huge comfort. I even discovered that a few of my old classmates are living out here in Oregon, and I've made plans to meet with friends here and there. I look forward to nurturing all of these rekindled friendships. It was TJ's incredible spirit that made us all converge again; he touched SO many people's hearts.
I only have a few photos of TJ, but I am glad that I found this one, of the two of us at my parent's house in Maryland. I don't know the year with certainty, but I think it's from 1998.