We both were never fans of the New Year, we’ve had that in common all along. Nothing worse than a row of taken treadmills on January 1 when no one bothered to use them the day before. Last year, I stopped making resolutions and decided to stick with one word. One word to carry into each New Year. A word to live by. Last year, the word was serendipity. It fit. It worked. I had to search for it though. This year, I didn’t need to search. You sang the word into my heart and you sang it so loud: RELENTLESS.
Here’s to you & 2012, year of the RELENTLESS. We miss you.
I should have called you the first time I ever saw the word typed— RELENTLESS—the caps of the letters sitting bolder than any of the other print on the page.
I should have called you and told you how very silly it was for you to place a period beside that word. At the end of that story. As if you were ending a sentence. As if you were unaware that we all found beginnings the day you found that word and pushed it into the light for each of us.
You know, I grew up with the belief that the most worthwhile of people don’t spend time making legacies for themselves. They simply speak intentional sentences, let their actions tidal wave over those same intentional sentences and then walk away, leaving a crowd of people to whisper in their absence.
The first time you ever wrote the word RELENTLESS, we whispered, “It fits. It fits.”
It fit you. At the time I thought it fit only you. Only him.
Like a leather jacket off the coat rack of someone who had let the wind of the open road crash into it for years, the word fit you in all the right places. It hung perfectly in the shoulders. The sleeves were just right. It zippered you in a way that if words carried roadmaps and flashlights, compasses and a GPS just to find us then RELENTLESS looked for you all along.
RELENTLESS passed by a thousand other travelers to find the boy with the selfless spirit and a look of fire in his eyes.
The boy with the selfless spirit and a look of fire in his eyes gathered up all his strength to show the Ones Who Prayed that He Might Stay how to push a word into life. Into a New Day. A New Year. A New Moment Where the Sun Hits Our Eyes and Reminds Us We Are All Fighters.
The boy with the selfless spirit and the look of fire in his eyes suited up to the show the world his word.
to Help the Weaker.
One’s Self Beyond Measure.
from a Life that Aches to Be Our Classroom.
Great Things, Out of Our Selves and Others.
Accept Failure, what a weak little way of life that’d be.
To Tirelessly Travel
Towards the Change We Wish to See, keeping our eyes hungry for it, our mouths thirsting for it.
beyond all else, to Love like the oxygen is falling out of the room.
To Eliminate Fear
When He Shows Up at the Window.
to Breaking Points and laugh when we see how our bones have grown.
For the Most Selfless Place Where Our Deepest Hunger Meets a Deep Need, a place that the world often forgets to talk about enough.
I should have called you the day you placed a period beside that story of yours. And it would have been nice to hear your laughter when you told me that this was really my job.
My job to add the comma, my job to add the dash.
And the job of your father. The job of your best friend. The job of the ones who sat with wads of Big Chew in their mouths beside you in the heat stroke of July at the fields by the middle school.
That it was all of our jobs to be find a way to be RELENTLESS within in a world that holds your legacy while we remember what it was to have your hands for a little while.
And that same world, her with a broken heart swelled so bad it pushes waves into the Pacific, she needs the fighters. The RELENTLESS ones who won’t perch up in the mirror and say, “Me. Me. Me.” She needs the ones who are willing to break the mirror to find what the boy with the selfless spirit and the fire in his eyes knew all along.
What he left behind on the day when October learned to twist its torso and mourn.
That if we wish to be worthwhile we must like the feeling of being in pieces. We must be ready to split & split & split, to be picked up and carried by the ones who need the hope, by the ones who are doubting their very own being.
By the ones who need a story of a hero.
The Story of a Boy with a Selfless Spirit and a Fire in His Eyes.
A RELENTLESS Story.
And that’s the kind of story you want us all to have, not at the stroke of midnight tomorrow but right here. Right now.
And I can hear you laughing from your spot in the trees, you already trust us not to place the period down.
After all, who places a period at the end of a story that’s only just beginning?
I still remember the day the world took you back & there was never time to thank you for the thousand scattered moments you left behind to watch us while we slept.”
― Brian Andreas