This We Believe

Separated by Differences, United by Beliefs

Importance of Interactions

on February 26, 2015

When I think of how to describe our relationship, one specific moment stands out in my memory. After losing his keys in the woods and my five inch heel breaking as a result of trying to find said keys, homecoming was kind of a disaster. A beautiful disaster.

We never took things too seriously. We never cared of how we looked to other people, and that’s why when JT Hilligoss convinced me to waddle up to the doors of our high school on that homecoming night, we laughed and acted like we owned the place. Until, we found out the doors were locked, and we threw our heads back, laughed some more, and waddled back to his car.

Because we were on and off, it wasn’t uncommon that time would pass without us talking. But, when six quiet weeks went by and February 22nd came along I immediately recognizing what day it was I thought to myself: Do I text or call him? Wish him the best? See what he’s been up to? Tell him I miss him? I didn’t. I should have. Because, two days later he was gone. My life was changed.

I believe you must cherish the interactions you have with people because you never know how they will end up changing your life. Or when they will leave it forever.

When JT Hilligoss died in his sleep, the entire community was affected. Hundreds of people attended his candle light vigil. Football games thereafter always dedicated to player number thirty-three, the number I used to wear every Friday night under those big bright lights.

I never knew how many people he affected, how many people loved him. He meant so much too so many. Watching an entire community come together to be there for one another, for him, was unforgettable.

It changed me. At first the change was a negative one, falling into a pattern of instability, impulsiveness, and willingness to do anything just to feel something other than numbness, pain, and regret. As time went on it dawned on me that if he saw me living that way, he would look at me as if I was a stranger. I was unrecognizable, even to myself.

I turned my life around and started living the way I know he would want me to. I started caring, and investing mass amounts of time into the people around me. Into finding, and creating happiness, into putting smiles on people’s faces. I started spending more time with my family than I ever had, developing relationships that never before existed. I could not be more grateful for this.

Knowing him changed me, and losing him changed me.

Now I cherish every interaction that I have with people. I think about it, I pay attention to it. Not only to how people affect me, but also how I might affect them.

I cherish my moments, I cherish the people I meet and my relationships with them. This, is what I, believe in.


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