Last letter to a cherished friend

June 1, 2007

Dearest Brett,
There are so many things I wanted to say before you died. I wanted to tell you just how much I loved you, just how much you meant in my life. We were only friends for 4 years but in that time I grew to depend on you. We might not have spent huge amounts of time together but every moment we shared counted as a positive memory. Thank you for bringing laughter and positivity into my life. Your enthusiasm was infectious and you always lifted my mood and spirit.

In the time that has passed since my last visit, many things have happened. I stopped seeing and talking to that guy I briefly mentioned. He never stopped being aloof and unavailable. I’ve actually fallen in love with someone else, my friend_______. I think you would have liked him even if it’s not the most conventional of relationships, if I can even consider it one. I’m a romantic and I put my heart out there so watch over me. Make sure to keep protecting me.

I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about my depression. I wanted to focus our time together on your comfort and recovery. I felt so selfish and immature. I felt ungrateful. You were in excruciating pain for months but you stayed strong and fought to live. I weaken so often and I become willing to throw away my life. Forgive me for my ingratitude and forgive me for not telling you the truth. I didn’t want to disappoint or upset you. Forgive me for not trusting you to see my negativity and flaws. You were an accepting, loyal friend, and you would have offered me your support.

I have been blessed with a true friend. My sensitivity, vulnerability, and emotionality never irked you. You believed in me a lot more than I believed in myself. You saw so much in me, the way you did in everyone you met. I never knew someone so genuine, collaborative, altruistic, and generous. You treated me like I was worthy, even when I did not see that for myself. Thank you for embracing me and for taking the time to appreciate me.

In the last several months, I was treated to your affection. When you said you loved us to T. and me, I felt it. When you looked up to accept a brief visit, I know those few moments meant a lot to you. I will never forget how you held my hand when we first visited the hospital after your diagnosis. I could tell you were worried about me, the soft-hearted one. How humble I am before such goodness. You were the sick one yet you wanted me to be all right. I thank you, Brett, for being such a good, caring friend. Even in your darkest hours, you never lost sight of others. You were never self-seeking. I was lucky to know you.

We have shared so many memories. You almost marrying me off to old Ron at the Iron Gate. I could have slapped you the next day. The old lady at the Victorian saying you smelled good. The crazy man in his bathrobe at Guido’s, how our conversation became stilted and strained as we nervously pretended we weren’t nervous. Our lunches at Val’s, me always spilling my strawberry shake or root beer float on the table. The beers at Buffalo Bill’s. Late dinners at the Englander. Reminiscing about 70s nostalgia at the Hayward Museum or on VH1’s I love the 70s. The Secretly Irish. I have so much to laugh about when I think of you. I will miss your corny jokes, outlandish stories, and blunt words of advice. I will miss taking part in elaborate lies. I will miss you shouting, “CALDERÓN” down the hallway or over the phone. I will miss you, brother.
I wish you happiness and peace. Save me a spot at your table.
God speed.
Your friend always.
P.S. Thank you for inspiring me to recover. You are a warrior. You are strong, brave, and full of integrity. You are the kind of person I hope to be. Keep me in your thoughts. You will always be in mine.
Hasta pronto.

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