A member of the social media community died this past weekend. Who he was or how he died won’t be a part of this post. I never met him, and had only conversed with him a few times, so using his information to win a boost in visits from Google would be, well, sleazy.
But the tweets, updates, and posts that followed his passing got me thinking. So many people had so much to say about him, and what he gave to them, and the social media community at large — was he aware of the high praise of so many people? Did they have the chance to tell him when he was still around? If they had the chance, did they tell him?
I’m not sure I would have. We all have our stories, our quirks — one of mine is that I don’t readily talk about my feelings for people. If you and I are friends, I’m more likely to make fun of you than to tell you why I like you.
This is why I’m taking the chance to talk about people that are special in my life. Some I haven’t seen in person in years, some I see every day. They all mean the world to me.
Joe Varnum – After moving to Chelmsford, Joe was my first friend. Regardless of where I came from or what I’d experienced, he was simply an eight-year old that shared a number of interests with me — namely, Transformers, GI Joe, and Legos. After graduation, he joined the Navy (he’s the only member of the Navy that I’ve heard of that never served on a ship!) Now, he’s engaged to Lori, one of the coolest, craziest girls from our hometown. Since we graduated, we’ve grown apart (but are connected on Facebook — thanks, Zuckerberg!) He’s still one of my favorite people on this planet.
Alan Grant – In suburban America, distance is a strong indicator of the likeliness of interest. Alan lived about 150 yards from my house, which meant we were destined to be friends. As middle schoolers, he told me about the greatness of Aerosmith (I still question his logic on that one). In high school, we spent our time skateboarding, talking about cars, going to punk shows, and being proudly drug free — he, Matt, Ray, Bill, Jay, Robb, Dave, Nate, and Joe were my straightedge crew — aside from my parents, these are the people that have had the greatest impact on who I am. Now, Alan lives in New Hampshire and I’m in Boston (and carless), so we don’t see each other very often. But if there’s someone I love like a brother (other than my brothers), it’s this guy.
Kevin and Joyce – As far as I’m concerned, they are and always have been a pair — when he was little, my son didn’t know Kevin or Joyce, only Kevinandjoyce. I met K&J in college; we were all BFA majors at U Mass Lowell, a school known for engineering. I’ve followed them from Lowell to Boston (our new home is about 3.5 miles from their loft), but busy lives keep us from getting together very often. They’re two of the funniest, most caring people I’ve ever met. They’re also two of the first modern design enthusiasts I knew, and have helped me hone and develop my own taste for clean, comfortable design. Oh, and their daughter Eva is just about the cutest little girl ever.
Christopher Norfleet – When I first started DesignBoston, I’d go to the DWR in the South End for monthly discussions on modern design. There, I met Christopher. What began as a common interest in furniture we can barely afford (me more so, unfortunately) became a deep friendship over the last five years. From relationships to jobs, we’ve each had our share, and he’s always been there for me.
Jeff Cutler – You probably know him as the scooter-riding, Patriots-hating, there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-Citizen-Journalist ranting food photographer. I know him as all of those, plus one: from the first time I met him, giving me a spare power cord for my (now replaced) iBook, Jeff has been one of the most amazingly giving people I’ve ever met. No one is more loyal, more silly, or more consistently himself than Jeff. And through him, Meg and I met Gretchen.. who, as good as Jeff is, is his better half.
Meg – I’ve written about her more than once. No matter how many times I tell her I love her, or hug her, there’s no way that I could ever put how I feel for her into words. Her beauty, intelligence, and caring heart are unparalleled. And, even though our wedding is still six weeks away, she’s already the best stepmom possible. She’s the person that I dream of growing old with.
All of these people have something in common: they’ve seen me at my best, and at my worst. They’ve stood by me, and helped me become a better person. And they haven’t heard from me how I feel about them.
Is there someone that you should talk to, and tell them how you feel about them?
What are you waiting for?