Brandon,

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a memory of you, but usually it is here during this time. You were the first person, the first friend, that I ever experienced the brevity of life, it’s fleeting and unguaranteed moments.

I remember taking the bus to school, your closest friends and girlfriend had already heard the news but I was unaware. I can’t remember her name, but I saw her crying and asked if you were alright. I don’t blame her for the look she gave me, it wasn’t out of anger, it was more of this shocked, “how do you not know” kind of look.

I would soon learn that you had died from the results of a card accident on Halloween, if memory serves… it has been 25 or 26 years since that day, after all. Memories of memories, that’s how the brain works. That’s all I have. This was before Facebook, before Myspace, before AOL. Thankfully your family has photos, maybe some VHS to remember you by, as it should be.

I’m just remembering you today. Hopefully, if there is a life in the hereafter, that you feel my thoughts resonating with you somehow today. Just a friendly hello, a nod and fist bump as you go on your day.

I remember the memorial service, I can’t help but laugh at myself as I’d left school early that day and had my backpack with me, or at least that’s how I remember it. I remember seeing our friends. I remember going hope and crying bitterly. Death had passed by and it was my first visitation.

I cannot remember how our paths crossed, but I remember a few things: I remember all of “us” – faces I see but names escape me, hanging out at Hardeez. I remember, vaguely, playing a futuristic racing game on the Super Nintendo, just had to Google it, F ZERO. Fun times. I think that was at your place… or a mutual friend’s, but you were there. And I also remember you sticking up for me once or twice in class… Spanish class I think. Thanks for that. Not sure I ever told you. Thanks for all of that.

I moved away from Bellevue a little over a year later; out west to Idaho. I’ve been here ever since. It makes me wonder how life would’ve turned out for you had you not died then. Like the majority of my friends then, we more than likely would’ve drifted apart. I have only one connection now from the way-back days of Bellevue.

Anyhow… Brandon, I’m not eager to join the other side, but I am so very curious as to what lay beyond. I hope you have lived on and in that life has been filled with wondrous experiences. At the very least, I hope that you are resting peacefully.

Thanks for the memories and the small time we had together,

~Tommy