You see, a little over a month ago, August 12th to be exact, my friend, Gerb, showed up at my church along with her husband, Allen. I was excited to see her poke her head into the overflow and catch my eye. She motioned for me to come and talk to her. We were having a missionary farewell that day and since her oldest son had just left on a mission, I thought that perhaps the boy speaking was one of his friends and that they had come to come to listen.
The look on Gerb's face and the way she suggested we go outside to talk told me otherwise.
My mind was racing as I crossed the short expanse of foyer. I associate with Gerb along with two other friends that if something was dreadfully wrong, which I had the feeling this was going be, she would come get me out of church to tell me. Since I had seen the back of Rachel's head a few benches ahead of me, I knew it wasn't her. That left one person- Jason.
I thought perhaps he had injured himself on one of his solo desert excursions, but my mind questioned why she didn't just call to inform me? That is when it registered that I needed to brace myself for what was coming. Gerb told me that our amazingly gifted friend, Jason, had left us the day before to return to our true home and to our loving Heavenly Father.
My mind rebelled at the thought of someone so full of life being absent from it. Since then I have had the hardest time grasping the loss. I have cried many tears at the thought of the world without this friend. Since it has gone on just as before without coming to a grinding halt as you feel it should when you lose someone close, I figured he really couldn't be gone. Could he? This had to be some cruel twisted joke or elaborate hoax. I even told Richard that he had to be in the Witness Protection Program because there was no way Jason could really be gone.
I thought about driving past his house or visiting his classroom to find out the truth, but I haven't. I don't really want to know. Deep down under all of the denial I knew, accepting the truth hurts.
But last week, the realization of a world without him started to settle in around me. His picture taking presence was absent at skate night. He did not ride the saddle at Texas Roadhouse for his birthday dinner. His blog has been stagnant. His phone disconnected. He is not driving any of the blue Hyundai Santa Fe's that pass me on the road. And, I hear there is a different teacher in his classroom, though I haven't been able to bring myself to go find out.
So if I seem a little quiet, slightly distracted or a little slow to laugh, please, bear with me- I miss my friend - and getting used to a new "normal" is hard to do.