Thanks For Making Me a Fighter

Tai - Zanesville, Ohio
Entered on April 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in the love in friendship. Friendship is held very close to my heart and I’ve found that true friends are essential for happiness. The many struggles I’ve battled in nearly nineteen years of living have caused me to believe in the love within friendship. With friends on my arm and memories to latch onto, the hard times seem a little more manageable and the good times, all the more enjoyable. Losing friendship is never easy whether tragic or not.

I lost a very close friend, Jordan, to murder in 2005. I should probably tell you that it was another good friend of mine that murdered him. I should probably also include that I, along with five other friends, witnessed the biggest, most important part of that tragic night. Alcohol was a major contributor to the events that unfolded that night and I’ve learned much since then.

Being there for my friends through the aftermath of Jordan’s death was the most important thing to me at the time. My best friend, Kayla was Jordan’s girlfriend at the time of his death. After he died, she was like a train wreck and rightfully so. Throughout the next few months, I found myself being there for her day and night to ensure that her happiness returned. She felt so lost and confused.

Kayla and I grew closer in the years that followed. She let me know how much it truly helped her knowing that she could call me at three in the morning and I would be right there, even if all she needed was a little reassurance that her whole world was not crashing down. Kayla was different then, but I learned to understand her, no matter what mood she was in and a lot of times it was a very dark, hateful mood. Over the next couple y ears, she came out of that mood and slowly became herself again, the happy-go-lucky girl she was before Jordan’s death. She and I are closer friends than ever before and she and her current boyfriend are expecting a little boy in May.

I’ve learned that the love in friendship will help me through anything. I’ve learned that friends are amongst the many important things in life and they can be taken away from me in the blink of an eye. I’ve learned that tragedy made me stronger. After Jordan’s death, I thought my world would never turn itself around and the things I had deemed to be normal were no longer. Through hard work and many hours of talking to Kayla, each day got a little easier until finally, I was not spending my time obsessed with Jordan’s death. You can’t go back and change what has already happened, but you can learn from it and learn that it is something you will avoid, at all costs.