Brown faded paper, with the spiral paper edges all worn out, and folds all over, yet it still holds a memory that will last the rest of my life. I carry this drawing of you with me all the time. I know when I have it with me, that I still have you next to me as well. I still remember the feeling of the old number two wooden pencil that was once sharpened with a pocket knife in my hands. I can still hear the sound of the paper ripping from the old notebook. The paper still smells of fresh cut wood and iced tea from a special pink faded cup. What I would give to be there with you again, I could never explain.
You are gone, my best friend gone. It was just another vacation up north at the lake. We had just scarfed down a giant pancake breakfast with fresh fruit, and sausage links hot off the stove. After hours of cleaning up, we sit outside by a day fire while relaxing and enjoying the nature around us. We all heard a car coming up on the gravel road leading to our cabin. Out steps all the family. Confused to why they all drove here
we were asking why; and the devastating truth came out. You had passed away last night and they had come to bring us home to you.
Could you ever imagine life without your best friend? The person you do everything with? What if one day you woke up and they were just gone forever? Would you blame yourself for not being able to say goodbye? I experienced this all too well about two years ago when you passed. I called you Paw even though your name was Dan. You were a lumberjack back in the day, a Saturday Night Live listener, and aspiring auctioneer. Because you were a lumberjack, we would bond over making artwork out of wood and everything else we could get our hands on. That was our favorite thing to do together; we would make arrowheads out of wood and paint them with beautiful colors.
A scruffy, long, white beard, and a silver chain hanging out of your back jean pocket leading back up to the rear pocket. You looked as if you just walked out of the woods or just walked out of church in the south. The smells of fresh cut wood, tea, and irish spring soap from a general store were overwhelming in your presence. The bald spot on your head reflected the sun when you would take off your torn baseball cap from twenty years ago that looks like it needs a wash. Your fingernails displayed a rim of dark color underneath the natural french tip of the nail, showing the dirt and hard work you were capable of.
The scent of fresh cut wood and iced tea was overwhelming when you walked into the shop; the shop is what you would call the basement. The concrete floor was always shockingly slippery as a result of all the sawdust from projects that were being made. The brown oak table handcrafted by hand sits in the center of the shop filled with paints and brushes in need of a nice wash or replacement. The wooden swing screwed in the open doorway ceiling dangling as if waiting for someone to swing on it. There you sat in the back of the room on the orange leather stool that was held together with duct tape, sharpening a pocketknife waiting for me to come home from school.
I remember all these things about you. Did you know that? Did you think I would remember all these things? You were the best friend no one could replace. I hope that you’re watching over me and are proud of me. I hope I have yet to let you down. I know you are happy and at peace, because I know how much you were struggling with life before you passed. I want you to know that I will always remember you and these special memories we made. I want to say thank you for making me the person I am today and thank you for the memories I will cherish forever. I can not wait to meet you again one day, Paw.