30, and christmas eve eve

i had a strange dream last night. i only remember a piece or two of it, but i woke up thinking of how strange our subconscious mind is.

in order to get a full understanding i need to share a story with you. it's a story that changed my life, and is the story behind this tattoo:

so, seeing as a story usually starts at the beginning, i'll start there too.

my freshman year in high school i was sitting at home, talking on the phone and celebrating the start to my christmas break when i got a phone call from a friend of my brother's. matt was at work, and so kyle proceeded to tell me that two friends of ours had been in a car accident. one of them was fine.
the other died. [i can still hear his voice when he told me.]

nothing has ever shaken my world more than that moment.
the 7 permanently inked on my ankle is because of what happened after that.

you see, jimmy and i shared that number - he wore it for the boys' soccer team, and i wore it for the girls'. he was a senior, i was a freshman. yet we were friends. we gave each other good luck hugs before every game of the season. he was dating a friend and teammate of mine [she was the other friend in the car with him].

prior to jimmy i had never lost anyone before. and it took me a couple years to be at all okay with God after that. i ran away from him. didn't want to have anything to do with a God who would let a friend of mine, a friend who held so much promise, die so young.

but through that horrible experience God met me. he showed me who he is. and even though i still don't understand it, he showed me that despite everything that happened, he is still worthy. he brought me back to himself.

the 7 on my ankle is my testimony in a number.

that phone call came twelve years ago today.

last night i dreamt about jimmy. and i woke up and realized that he would be 30 now. as strange as that is, it's even stranger to think about how much everything has changed in twelve years. i think about how much has changed in my life, how much has happened, and how different the world is now.

1998 was before most people had cell phones, before facebook, before blogs were popular, before the housing bubble, before dvr and nfl ticket. it was before y2k, before 9/11, before the war on terrorism, before i graduated from high school, well before i met peter or ever thought of moving out of pittsburgh. before the world changed.

yet in my mind jimmy is still like a big brother to me. the hardest-working, biggest-hearted 18 year old kid i've ever met.

regardless of your memories of christmas eve eve, regardless of where you are in your life right now, regardless of the chaos and the noise, the struggles and the joys, regardless...

...i hope you have
a very merry christmas.


most popular