In Loving Memory of My Friend J.A.

wpid-20150913_164129.jpgThis is one of the few posts that I will quickly write and publish in order to capture my true reaction. Earlier today I received a message from a mutual friend who texted to let me know that my friend, J.A., suddenly passed.  JA was a member of the US Army Special Forces.  He had an accident during air drop training.  The incident happened at noon  on Friday, September 11, 2015.  A civilian reported seeing his body hanging from a tree.

I was in disbelief.  It was hard to accept.  I don’t think there is ever a right time for this kind of news, however it was especially hard this time around because my grandpa died a few days earlier on Tuesday around 1:30pm.

J.A. was the closest I have to a best friend, or the closest friend I have at the moment.  He was generous with his time and money.  He knew what he wanted in life.   He had a giant heart and wore it on his sleeve.  He loved God and spent his life creating memories.  Everyone who knew him, loved him.  He was someone to look up to.  He had many sides, as we all do, and I was glad to have been invited inside the circle of trust.

JA is the best friend a guy could ask for.  He was there when I went through major life changing events and needed a friend for support.  JA made time for me.  A friend in need is a friend in deed.

May 2015, I moved to Everett and JA was gone for training. We gradually lost contact.  March was the last time I saw him.  Thinking back, I should have put in more effort.

I am disappointed with myself.  I went about four to five months without seeing my closest friend and now he is gone.  I can easily say he is gone now because I have not exactly processed his passing.  I still see him lounging at the bars in Seattle, or just hanging out at church.

The fact is he is gone.  Who will I sit with at church now?  Who will I will go on crazy rendezvous with?  I wonder if I’ll ever get over that fact.

This is the first time dealing with the passing of a close friend. I think about all the past memories and I am sad that I won’t be able to make more.  I miss eating at Denny’s at 2am after leaving the casino, partying in Seattle or just having lunch at a Korean restaurant to catch up.  JA was a real blessing.

I encourage everyone to call their close friend to tell them how much they cherish the friendship.  How important they are.  Say good things.   One of the most touching things my close friend said to me was how grateful it was to just hang out with me.  I never had a chance to say nice things to JA.  I regret not being with him before he passed.  He was there for me but I was not.

The road is much lonelier without you my friend.  But I know that sometime God sends a close friend in time of need.  Other time he may recall them for the service of his Kingdom.  RIP J.A.


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