2013 has been tough.
I've lost a very close friend/mentor who drowned.
I was "divorced" (hah)
And now, to close the year up, my childhood family friend, Jose Moreno passed in his sleep.
When we were 25, he was in a terrible car accident where he burned 3/4 of his body. I remember the day I got the phone call I was at work and had a major freakout.
It was tough for him-years and years of surgeries and rehab. He eventually married and fulfilled his dream of starting his own law firm all while still incapable of full use of his arm and limited use of his leg.
Then one day he didn't wake up. That was last Sunday.
I remember being maybe 8 years old when we first met. Our parents knew each other from Medical school in the 70's. Jose was my age. He was in my opinion the cuter one of the three boys. Total crush from day one. But eventually that all went away and we were family. We spend every summer together, most Christmases together. We went to karate tournaments together, visited our "cousins" in Orlando together. We graduated the same year and as all friends do, you part ways and go to college. But coming home to Jacksonville meant coming home to see the "cousins". We may not talk for months, but nothing ever changes. You're always excited to see each other and share stories of your new lives. We'd go to movies when we were tired of being bored at home. I remember Raul coming back from NY sporting Kenneth Cole and Banana, then Jose from Atlanta wearing Timberlands and joking with the two of them about their opposing fashion sense.
I remember one of the Christmases following his accident holding his hand and telling him that we didn't care what he looked like and that we loved him no matter what. And in his funny smiley voice he said, 'Aww Frances You're going to make me cry'. Then I cried.
It hurts to see someone you love going through such hardships.
Jose, I would have never wished this for you, but I know your pain is now over and you can finally be in peace.
I'll never forget you.