There's an art to breathing, one that I've learned so well.
It's simple, but it's easily stolen. When I'm gone, when I'm vulnerable.
I shall write it this once, but I doubt I'll ever write this openly about it again.
I knew a boy named Justin Parker. Justin Parker.
Today, you'll associate that name with suicide.
He killed himself on September 8th, 2010.
We weren't best friends. But I knew him. He sat at my lunch table every day last year. Diagonal from me. I was in band with him all through high school. In fact, he was the best of us. The band. I looked at him when I needed guidance.
I want to remember his life, not his death. But the world will know him as the boy who killed himself. I won't.
I write this now not to stir emotions, but to give a taste of life. I titled this blog "To Be Real," based upon something that my youth pastor said to us a few weeks ago. He told a story of how he got a promotion in his job and instead of having to work in the cold, he got to be inside a heated office. After awhile, he let it go to his head. And he said to us, "I forgot what it was like to be working in the cold. I forgot what it was like to be real."
I never want to forget who I am, or what I'm working for. I never want to be content enough to tell myself to stop striving to be something more. I never want to be able to give up. I want to be real, I want to be alive. I want to remember how to breathe, even when surrounded by tragedy that threatens to steal my breath away.
My eyes are lifted towards Jesus. There, they shall remain.