I found that picture the other night and instantly started crying.
Because that moment is still so vivid in my memory.
You had just graduated high school. I found you in the crowd, held onto you tight and buried my face in your robe. Trying my best to hide from you that I was on the verge of tears. I knew that if I tried to talk, my shaky voice would prevail and you’d look at me and then it’d all be over. The waterworks would flow.
So instead, I just hugged you as tight as I could.
Later that day when Mom found that picture she captured and came to show me, after she left my room, I finally did let the flood gates completely open.
I cried hard.
Because I knew you going to college meant that I was losing my best friend.
A best friend is exactly what you are to me.
I remember my freshman and sophomore years of high school, when I struggled to make friends. Starting halfway through freshman year, I’d sit outside, alone at lunch every day.
Once you caught on, you left your table of friends every day and came and sat with me.
Those are some of my favorite memories. We’d trade parts of our lunches and have some of the best laughs.
I remember one really bad day of high school. Certain things had happened with friendships that were slowly slipping away from me, and people were mean.
At my locker before I left school, I felt the tears already burning in my eyes. I told myself to hold off until I got in your car.
But when I walked out into the parking lot and made eye contact with you, your concerned look told me that you already knew just by looking at me that something was up.
I saw your look and couldn’t hold it in. Right there in the middle of the sidewalk, I completely lost it.
Ugly crying, barely breathing, beat red face.
You threw your arm around me and shielded me while we made our way to your car.
One of your best friends saw and jumped in, shielding my other side.
I cried and you two did your best to hide me so no one else would see.
On that day, my world was completely crashing in. And like so many times before, you stopped it from completely crushing me.
The day we dropped you off at college, I sobbed the entire way home.
I was excited for you but felt like FSC was stealing a piece of me.
I remember the first day of junior year when our lunch table was completely empty.
I sat there and wondered what I was going to do for the next two years without you.
High school sucked for me. And I 100% mean it when I say that you were one of the main reasons I was able to make it through.
So when I found that picture the other night, the tears were inevitable.
Because buddy, we’ve come full circle.
Later this year, you’ll be graduating college.
Although we don’t go to the same college so it’s not like I’m used to having you by my side 24/7 anymore, I know things are still going to change.
The thing is, we’re both growing up.
Growing up is a lot harder than I thought it’d be.
Before we know it, we’ll probably both be living in different places again, maybe even different states.
We’ll have our own lives and jobs, trying to juggle two crazy worlds.
I’ll probably be buying my 3rd dog while you’re having your third kid (joking… kinda).
I don’t know what our futures hold. But I do know a few things:
I know that I will always have your back and you’ll always have mine. No matter what.
I know that watching you find you passions and live your dreams is one of my most favorite things to watch.
I know that you can do insane things with a camera and that’s going to take you far.
I know that no matter where we both end up, our lives will never be too busy for long FaceTime calls and annoying texts.
I know that I will always dream that one day our career paths will cross and maybe, we get to do a job together.
I know that you fill the role of big brother better than anyone else I’ve seen do it.
I know that life with you as my sidekick is a blast.
I know that I miss living across the hall from you. But no distance will ever mess with us.
I know that I have to go clean my keyboard because now there’s tears all over it.
I can’t believe this is your last year in college.
I’m so excited to see what comes your way in this next year.
You’ll always be the best thing that I've got.
Growing up is hard, but I’m glad I get to do it with you.
Thanks for protecting me, making me laugh and being the best sidekick out there.
Here’s to our worlds changing at rapid paces but us staying the same epic duo that we are.
I love you, ya goof.