Sunday, May 9, 2010
The obvious answer to this week's IF challenge is Joan of Arc facing the Burgundians, but I started to think about fearless people I've known in real life. People who aren't here any more because just like Joan, they didn't have a healthy sense of fear. People who died too young. Jewish people put a stone on a grave a year after a funeral. It hasn't been quite a year, but it's time for me to put a stone on Andy's grave.
I don't remember meeting Andy. He was just always there, always a friend to my youngest brothers. He laughed, he smiled, he went for things with such full force that I just had to smile and laugh with him.
When he was older, he stopped by my house once in a while. If he was hungry, I fed him. If he was tired, he crashed on my porch swing. When I had a car I didn't know how to fix, I gave it to him. Sometimes he'd show me his sketchbook and ask for feedback. He had talent, and I wish I had one of his drawings to remember him by. He found comfort at my house when he needed it, and my heart was happy when he came.
In a way, I always knew we were alike, but I never bothered to find out why. When his obit was published, I found we shared the same birthday. Maybe that's why we could spend a quiet afternoon together without talking. Just being around each other was enough. We appreciated each other in a way we didn't want to talk about, but at the same time, we knew each other's hurts. We were a safe place for each other, and even if he didn't come over very often, my door was always open for him.
He died as a daredevil on an ATV at night. Somehow, it seems fitting that he died going all out, but I'm still dealing with the shock of losing him so young.
It hasn't been a year yet, and I'm not Jewish, but I'll borrow their tradition because I feel a need to put a stone on Andy's grave. He was buried in a beautiful place overlooking the river we both loved. Maybe everyone else will post pictures of heroes this week, but I'm lost in thoughts of "fearless", reckless, and loss.
The drawing is in pastels with some fiddling in PhotoShop. It's been a long time since I've used pastels, but chalk just seems appropriate for a life so quickly swept away.