All I ever really knew about him was that he'd gotten his life into a lot of trouble with alcohol, drugs, what have you. Apparently he spent some time under bridges in Dallas. And he wasn't the most awesome person as a kid. But recently he'd been getting better, getting his life back on track.
Yesterday I went with my mom to his memorial service, and I learned a whole lot of stuff I didn't know. Like that he was a veteran. Or the fact that he was seven years sober. Or the fact that he'd gone back to school and gotten a degree in psychology. Or that he had inspired a whole slew of people who were working on getting sober or struggling to stay sober, inspiring them to work hard, to change their lives, and to be proud of who they were. Enough people that the memorial service lasted an entire hour due to everyone wanting to get up and say something.
It's crazy how I never met the guy, but I'm glad to be part of his family.
And of course I did the whole "Would people say anything so nice about me when I'm gone?" thing, and we all know how that goes.
After the service, some of his friends invited us to come to their apartment and eat, and they made up a ton of food: brisket, chicken and potatoes in French dressing, homemade fried rice, all kinds of stuff. I ate and ate and ate and it was awesome.
We also took some time to go look at his room and see if any of us wanted any of his things. I felt awkward taking anything, since I didn't know him and also since I'm trying to clear out my apartment of any and all crap, but I did end up with an unopened jar of grape jelly and a thing of peanut butter, some index cards, some Febreeze, and a couple of Garth Brooks cassettes.
SO HOW WAS YOUR YESTERDAY? Death free, I hope?