This is going to be long. It is just something I have to write out. I hope that at least one of you read this. I hope that she sees it from wherever it is she has found her peace at.

There are moments and people that happen to our life and for whatever reason they get sewn into the patchwork of our memory. Our own personal timeline can be stretched out like string with trinkets attached along the thread solidly or precariously, daring to drop from our thoughts forever. Some memories our minds carefully double knot on the line so that they remain with us forever. Memories like a mother holding onto the moment she held her first born. Or when we first meet “the one.” Even terrible memories find their way on our timeline, a thick twine that weighs it down so it bows ever so slightly.

I have no idea why the news hit me as hard as it did. We weren’t close. Acquaintances. We talked many times in the 5 or so years we’ve known each other but we never forged a fierce bond like I did with other friends. I see now that was my fault. My loss. It was more my not being able to handle a personality such as yours. A person whose emotions sat precariously on the edge of a razor blade, teetering to either happy or devastatingly sad. It was not something I was equipped to deal with and so I didn’t. Shame on me.

We met once. Briefly. Barely a day. It was summer time maybe three years back. You came to visit the city where I live because you had an Aunt there. You asked me if I’d like to meet up and I agreed. We spent a good part of the day together. I picked you up at your Aunts house and I remember you rushing out to tell me your Aunt was on her way out because she had to know who I was since we had never met prior and had met on the internet. I said hello to your Aunt and that was that. She let us go relatively quickly.

I remember you were so tall. So. fucking. tall. We create these images in our head of how people are built when we only see pics of them on the internet. I always pictured you as shorter. You were so tall. You seemed so at ease within your frame. I can’t recall the sound of your voice. I guess that thread wasn’t tied so tight.

We had lunch at chickfila and we spent a good couple of hours there talking and catching up in person on events we didn’t talk about over the internet. You mixed your ketchup with your mayo and I thought it was disgusting! You laughed and begged me to try it but I just couldn’t do it. Had it been mixed with anything other than ketchup I might have considered it.

You seemed so happy. I was expecting so much more… more of the devastatingly sad you. But you weren’t. You kept warning me how awkward you were. And you were… but in that really fun and goofy way. The way we all are. You couldn’t see that you were just the same as all of us in that respect.

We, for whatever reason, ended up at the Animal Jungle pet store just around the corner from your Aunt’s house. We went in to check out the animals they had. You really liked the little monkeys and the big ass parrots. One thing I remember is how your face lit up looking at the animals. You so easily recognized beauty in everything around you, just not in yourself.

We lost touch over the years. We would touch base here and there. Our last conversation was May of last year. With you messaging me about the ridiculous Chrissy situation and giving me a pep talk and offering support. Why couldn’t I reach out to you and offer the same? You reached out on this tumblr site as well to follow you back… I never got around to it. Maybe if I did I could have seen something that would have warned me to reach out. Tonight I kick myself over it.

You randomly crossed my mind on Friday. I wandered to your facebook page to go message you. Find out how married life was treating you since your wedding in May. Find out how things in general were going. And that’s when I saw the posts on your page.

"I miss you like crazy, and can’t wait to see you again some day."

"I’m finding it difficult to breathe without you, now that the shock has left me. :’(( fly high sis."

Etc. etc. etc.

You were 25. You shouldn’t have died. That’s too young. How? Why? What the hell happened? Was this a joke?

I typed your name into google and there was the obituary.

I was a shitty friend. You had passed away in July. July 3rd. It was October 17th when I found out. I posted a brief thing on you fb. Your sister reached out to me. We talked. I received details about what had happened. Not graphic. Just the facts. My mind made up the graphic parts. I cried a lot Friday… I’m choking up now just thinking about how you left this world. The choice in it. The choice.

Our whole lives are spent making choices. What school do we attend? What house do we buy? Who do we marry? What do we name our kid? Where do we want to be buried? Etc. etc. etc. You made the ultimate choice. I don’t judge you on that. I don’t judge anyone on choosing to leave this fucking planet on their terms.

I only wish you would have realized there was more here for you. I only wish you would have seen how much your sister, the one that I talked to, loved you and the beauty you brought to her life. I only wish you would have held on a bit more. But that’s probably just selfish of me to say. I didn’t know you well enough to know how dark things had gotten for you. I didn’t take the time out of my schedule to check on you sooner. I didn’t put forth the effort… and perhaps many of us didn’t so you didn’t get the chance to know so you went on what you saw. It appeared we didn’t care.

I spent the last forty five minutes before writing this going through your entire tumblr. Your most recent ones, ones made just in the weeks before your choice, the last ones before an abrupt end to a regular posting by you shed some light on what you were going through. The pages before that are filled with an amazing beauty. The beauty of nature. And in that I found this post of yours:

My hope is that you’ve found peace in your spirit. I hope you are running free in the fields you covered your tumblr with. I hope in the next life you are surrounded with a never ending horizon of wonder and beauty and love that fills your soul until it runs over and spills into others with you and fills them up at their darkest moments. I hope that you have found friends who love you without worry and love you from within a world where they don’t cave into their selfishness. I hope you’re laying in that field of sunflowers, rays of sunshine warming your skin. I hope your soul is still and quiet standing at that waterfall.

I hope you can forgive all of us that just brushed you off as if your problem was just made up. I hope you can understand that you have been on my mind constantly since I found out and I am so incredibly sad that you felt alone and so incredibly depressed you thought your only choice was death. My heart breaks so much knowing that you died feeling like that.

I’ve tied a weight to my timeline with your name on it, Ashley. I put a lightning bolt scar on it.

My niece.

I just love her. I think she’s gonna be a disc golfer like her Uncle @josh_nye_science_guy .

It is perfect outside. Absolutely perfect.

This damn dog is snoring. Do you think she feels safe and loved and comfortable?

Pumpkin Spice Lava Cake…

Teaching this brat a lesson on winning and losing and how to act. What a cry baby!

Last one… I promise!

Terrible quality but you have to move fast with this one. Sitting on the steps with her and she comes up and leans against me hugging me… This is post hugging. <3

A little Super Mario 3d World before naps.